BUSTI - This year's Citizen of the Year award, as named by the Busti-Hamlet Development Group, was actually received by two citizens.
Bob and Judy Schultz, owners of the Busti Cider Mill, received the award during Busti's sixth annual chicken dinner at the gazebo next to the Busti Fire Department.
In addition to their operation of the Cider Mill, the Schultzes are also involved with the Busti-Hamlet Development Group as members of the board of directors, the Busti Historical Society and the Busti Fire Department's ladies auxiliary. According to Jesse Robbins, Busti town supervisor, the Schultzes are deserving of the award for all of their hard work and dedication to the hamlet of Busti.
A youth attempts to plunge Lee O’Brien, pastor of Busti Federated Church, into the depths of his dunking booth at the church’s “Family Fun Day” event in Busti.
P-J photo by Gavin Paterniti
"They're great people," said Robbins. "They're both extremely talented, extremely helpful and extremely cooperative. I can always count on either of them to help, and it's amazing what they'll do to help."
The Schultzes received the third annual Citizen of the Year award. As in previous years, Robbins said the recipients of the award will have their names engraved on a bench - which is valued at $600, comes with a 50-year guarantee and will be placed somewhere within the hamlet.
The Schultzes were announced as the award recipients after the conclusion of the chicken dinner. The annual event was started in 2008, along with the Busti-Hamlet Development Group, as a means of raising money to put toward the improvement the hamlet area.
At $10 a ticket, the number of dinners sold by the group each year has been on an incline. Robbins said 400 dinners were sold this year, as compared with 345 last year. The dinners include half a chicken, baked beans, cole slaw, corn on the cob, a roll and a drink.
Over the past six years, the money raised from the chicken dinner has gone toward the relocation of the veterans memorial monument to the hamlet, the gazebo, the Citizen of the Year benches, gravestone repairs and the flag pole at the Hazeltine Public Library on Busti-Sugar Grove Road.
"Lots of things have happened, and its all because of people finally putting some interest into (Busti)," he said.
According to Rick Thor, Busti town councilman and member of the Busti-Hamlet Development Group board of directors, the emphasis behind the Busti-Hamlet Development group and its primary fundraiser is on creating a sense of community.
"We've got some more ideas in the works, but the whole idea of the hamlet development group is to bring the community together," said Thor.
Also included in the fundraiser was a 50/50 drawing, a bird feeder giveaway and live music from the Wind River Bluegrass band. The bird feeder was handmade by Harold Everhart, who lives on Mead Road, The chickens were provided by Donna Chase and Catering Plus, of Sugar Grove.
Robbins also said he wished to thank the Busti-Hamlet Development Group.
"Every one of them bends over backwards to help me put this on," he said. "This doesn't happen over night, so it's pretty nice to get the help we have. It's a nice little community, and it's getting better."
Also held in Busti, prior to the fundraiser, was the Busti Federated Church's "Family Fun Day" event. The "Family Fun Day" event presented a variety of activities, including: a pie-baking contest, an open house at the Busti fire hall, a K-9 unit demonstration from the town of Ellicott and Busti police departments and a dunking booth featuring Busti Federated Church Pastor Lee O'Brien.