Not everyone gets a day named after them, but the ones who do generally deserve it.
Such is the case with John E. Anderson of Jamestown, who on Thursday, in front of 150 friends, family and members of the community, was awarded the John D. Hamilton Community Service Award by the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation.
"We are delighted this year to present the John D. Hamilton Community Service Award to John Anderson," said Randy Sweeney, executive director of the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation. "Throughout his life, he has dedicated his time to community involvement with organizations such as the Robert H. Jackson Center, Chautauqua Institution, Lutheran Social Services, the Chautauqua Striders and the Salvation Army, to name a few. John represents the traits that the founders of the Community Foundation felt to be important in making the Chautauqua region a great place to live, work and play."
John E. Anderson, of Jamestown, is pictured receiving the John D. Hamilton Community Service Award. Left to right: Randy Sweeney, executive director of the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation, John E. Anderson, and Jennifer Satalino, president of the board of directors. At right, Anderson dons a gag gift.
P-J photos by Dusten Rader
The award, first given to John D. Hamilton in 1994, recognizes an individual's dedication, leadership and support in furthering community spirit and enhancing the quality of life in the Chautauqua region.
"The Chautauqua Region Community Foundation was founded 34 years ago by a group of volunteers that wanted to do something for this area to make it a better place," Sweeney said. "Led by John Hamilton and Ken Strickler, they established the foundation that we know today. It was their dedication, leadership and community service which led the Community Foundation board of directors to create this annual recognition of an individual which has shown the same traits for the community.
"The past recipients, many of whom are present tonight, are an outstanding group of individuals," Sweeney added. "We're here to recognize John (Anderson) for the many wonderful things he has done for our community that certainly make him deserving of this award."
Anderson, who is an accomplished financier and local philanthropist, has dedicated himself to serving the local community. And, was recognized for his dedication by having Sept. 6, 2012, proclaimed as John E. Anderson Day in Chautauqua County by William Daly, county IDA director, who was representing County Executive Greg Edwards.
Assemblyman Andy Goodell, R-Chautauqua County, was present to say a few words about Anderson. Mayor Sam Teresi authored a proclamation that was read in his absence during the ceremony. Jennifer Satalino, president of the board of directors, also read a proclamation. Some personal reflections were also given by Dr. Gregory L. Jones.
Anderson, who has made, and continues to make, large donations to the many organizations in Chautauqua County in need, believes it is crucial to continue supporting even in tough economic times.
"President Kennedy said 'those that have much, have to do;' I do because I can do it, and I believe it is God's purpose for me anyway," he said. "Good causes have got to survive, and some of them there is more necessity now than there ever was."
Upon receiving the John D. Hamilton award, and being added to the list of former recipients, Anderson stated, "It's a distinct honor, I should feel humble, but that's kind of a work in progress for me. It's impressive, I fooled somebody."
"Everybody should be into philanthropy, I checked it in the dictionary, it's love of mankind, and I want to broaden that to include womankind," he continued. "I've received more than I've given, and it's fun. I was inspired by David Carnahan, my predecessor as president of the Allegheny Highland Council of the Boy Scouts of America. Phil Wall was trying to raise money to buy what used to be the Falconer Fireman's building, and is now the Boy Scout headquarters, but he said 'we can't do it because we're $50,000 short,' and David said, 'no you're not.' I always wanted to be in the position, and a few years ago I was, I could do that, and it's a great feeling. So, it's entirely selfish."