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Jefferson County Historical Society awards dinner to highlight people, businesses

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CHAUMONT — The Jefferson County Historical Society wouldn’t be able to carry out a history-preservation mission if it weren’t for many agency supporters, according to Executive Director William G. Wood.

The agency will honor some of those supporters during the inaugural Awards of Distinction Dinner, which will be held at 5:30 p.m. Aug. 25 at the 1905 Crescent Yacht Club, 27300 Independence Point Road.

“We’re here to be out collecting and presenting historical artifacts; then we’re supposed to preserve them,” Mr. Wood said Wednesday. “Anytime we have an individual or organization that makes that possible, we really want to tell that story.”

Six award categories will showcase the support of two individuals and four organizations.

The T. Urling Walker Award of Distinction was developed, Mr. Wood said, for a person who shared Mr. Walker’s passion and commitment to the agency. The Historical Society’s board of directors chose John B. Johnson, general manager of Northern New York Newspapers Corp., to receive that award, as he developed the Historical Society 500 fundraiser and helped promote the agency in Johnson Newspapers publications, including the Watertown Daily Times.

Other awards of distinction:

n The Robert R. Sturtz Award — to Neighbors of Watertown, for being a community business that has focused on promoting and preserving history. Neighbors of Watertown recently took charge of renovating the Franklin Building on Public Square.

n The Historical Society Award — to Sackets Harbor Battlefield Alliance, because it is a historical organization that has made a significant impact on the community.

n The Babcock Society Award — to Highway Legends car, truck and motorcycle club, because the group donated time and effort to restore the Historical Society’s early 1900s automobiles.

n The Historical Society Heritage Preservation Award — to North Country Goes Green, because it has helped preserve a cultural heritage through the annual Irish Festival each March.

n The Olive Paddock Preservation Leadership Award — to Maria J. Roche, because she “is someone who exemplifies Olive Paddock,” Mr. Wood said.

“If it wasn’t for Olive Paddock’s leadership in saying, ‘I want my home to be preserved,’ then we don’t know what would be here today,” Mr. Wood said of the society’s headquarters in the Paddock Mansion, 228 Washington St.

“She saw then that history was being lost. Maria, meanwhile, is someone who has worked with us for years, and she’s probably recruited more board members than anyone has. She has made it her mission to make sure people know about us.”

The awards dinner is open to the public. Tickets are $40 per person, or $75 per couple. The event begins at 5:30 p.m. Aug. 25 with a cash bar to benefit the Crescent Yacht Club, followed by the awards ceremony at 6:30. Dinner will be served at 7 and will include lobster bisque, stuffed pork tenderloin, glazed sweet potatoes, asparagus, salad and an assortment of desserts.

Proceeds will benefit the Historical Society.

A response is requested by Saturday by calling the Historical Society at 782-3491.

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