Article Contributed by
Chautauqua Region Community Foundation
The Chautauqua Region Community Foundation is pleased to announce that Greg and Sue Jones have been selected as the 2023 recipients of the John D. Hamilton Community Service Award. A celebration event is scheduled for September 22 at the Roger Tory Peterson Institute.
The annual award has been presented since 1994 in recognition of an individual’s dedication, leadership and support in furthering community spirit and enhancing the quality of life in the region. It is named for John D. Hamilton, in celebration of his tireless efforts and leadership throughout the community.
“We’re both honored and excited to present this award to such a positive and prominent couple in our community,” noted Tory Irgang, Executive Director. “There aren’t many community organizations in Chautauqua County that have yet to benefit, either directly or indirectly, from Greg or Sue’s support.”
Sue met Greg during a band trip in the early 1960’s, as members of the Jamestown High School marching band. After graduating from Syracuse University ROTC, Greg entered the U.S. Army as a second Lieutenant, and the two married. Upon completing his service, they eventually settled in Chicago, IL, both earning degrees; Greg in Optometry, and Sue in Nursing – and yes, both with honors.
The two made the decision to come home in 1974 and head “back to the lake”, as Greg would say, where they would raise Matthew and Lindsay. Greg began a solo optometric practice, and would later found Jamestown Optometric Group and Spectrum Eyecare. Sue took the role of Volunteer Coordinator and Communications Coordinator at Jamestown General Hospital until its closing in 1988, when she became Communications Coordinator for the Jamestown Board of Public Utilities.
“It’s been better than wonderful,” Sue remarked about the decision to return to the Chautauqua County community. “The people in this community have made me a better person.” She continued, “there’s always been someone happy to help you along your path.”
If you’ve met Greg or Sue, you know they’re both full of character and true characters in their own right. They speak confidently and speak up often, always finding a way to get a laugh while doing so.
When they’re together, they have an innate ability to sync up their conversations tighter than a Laurel and Hardy bit, contributing to a singular story from separate sides of the table. They’re eternally supportive of one another, and most-importantly, they empower each other to routinely take on commitments and roles with local boards and organizations.
Luckily for everyone in the greater Chautauqua County region, those roles and commitments continue to benefit others more than themselves. The list is endless: American Red Cross, Arts Council of Chautauqua County, Chautauqua County Airport Commission, Chautauqua Lake Association, Chautauqua Region Community Foundation, Family Service of the Chautauqua Region, Reg Lenna Center for the Arts, United Way of Southern Chautauqua County, Zion Covenant Church and Zonta. Perhaps one of their favorite community service opportunities has been serving together as members of the Rotary Club of Jamestown. Greg was a member first, serving as President and Sargeant-at-Arms. Sue didn’t miss a step when she joined, also serving as President and Historian.
“Both Greg and Sue are equally deserving of the award as individuals,” Rex McCray, John D. Hamilton Award Committee Chair added. “Each could have been selected and celebrated for their own accomplishments and contributions to our community, but like most other aspects of their life, we felt it appropriate to recognize their collective impact – one that is utterly immeasurable.”
The list of accomplishments, organizational roles and causes supported by Greg and Sue Jones would easily give John Hamilton a reason to congratulate the two. He would be proud that they are fellow Rotarians and proud that they receive the recognition that bears his name at the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation.
The reception honoring Greg and Sue Jones is scheduled for Friday, September 22 at the Roger Tory Peterson Institute. The evening will begin at 5:30 p.m. with the award presentation at 6:30 p.m.
Tickets for the event will be available for purchase starting August 14, 2023.
For more information on the event, including how to purchase tickets or to send The Joneses a congratulatory message, visit crcfonline.org/jones or contact the Foundation at (716) 661-3390.