As reported by the Burlington Free Press yesterday…
South Burlington – This year’s recipient of the Community Appreciation Award, which is given out each year at National Night Out, will go to Michael and Valerie Wood-Lewis, who founded Front Porch Forum. The Front Porch Forum is an email based service organized by neighborhoods, where neighbors talk about topics from baby-sitting to vandalism.
The Community Appreciation Award “recognizes someone in the community whose efforts have made a difference in our community” and who has worked toward crime prevention and youth services, said National Night Out coordinator Catherine Welch. The Wood-Lewises will receive the award at 7 p.m. on Aug. 7 at the Dorset Park band shell. Gov. Jim Douglas will present the award.
“After only a half-year of operation, more than 5,000 Chittenden County households have joined Front Porch Forum,” Michael Wood-Lewis said in a press release. “FPF hosts 130 contiguous online neighborhood forums covering the entire metro-Burlington area. People use the free service for many ends, including finding a babysitter or lost cat, selling a canoe, recommending a plumber, announcing a school play, reporting a car break-in, organizing a block party and so much more. And, the best part of it, all of these activities are done with clearly identified nearby neighbors, so the sense of community in each neighborhood grows.”
Wood-Lewis said he and his wife are “humbled” to be nominated for the award and they will share it with the thousands of local Front Porch Forum members, volunteers and sponsors.
By all means, this award is shared with the more than 5,000 local FPF participants… definitely a group effort.
I encourage local folks to attend the various National Night Out events… sounds like a fun bash (and free!) taking shape… carnival, parade, fireworks, live music, rides, food and more. We’re taking our kids. August 6 at 6:30 PM at Dorset Park, and then the main event on August 7 from noon until 10:00 PM at the park (rain date is August 8 ).
Update: Details about the event are now available on the South Burlington Police Dept. website. Also, Sgt. Tom Fraga and organizer Catherine Welch recorded a Channel 17 TV show about it all the other day. Click here and then select “South Burlington’s National Night Out Preview Show (7/17/07)” under Special Events. They mention Front Porch Forum at 22:40 into the 30-minute program.