On October 7, during a virtual celebration, the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation presented Cristie Herbst its John D. Hamilton Community Service Award.
According to Tory Irgang, Community Foundation executive director, there was never any question about turning the typical in-person event into a virtual gathering.
“The Community Foundation annually celebrates the very best in community service and volunteerism and never has that celebration been more important than in this year of unprecedented circumstances,” said Irgang.
The event, made available via Zoom and Facebook Live, was live streamed to more than 80 households, with many sharing stories of working with Herbst, both professionally and as a volunteer.
For decades, Herbst has used her natural leadership skills and wisdom to be an active community volunteer. Her dedicated service with the former Chautauqua Area Girl Scout Council, allowed her to mentor many young women throughout the region.
“I finally had the pleasure of meeting Cristie at Camp Timbercrest’s 50th Anniversary celebration a few years ago,” Jina Costa shared during the event, “She has inspired many other Girl Scouts in everything she’s done for our organization. I am so happy to see her receive this award.”
In addition to her numerous leadership positions within the scouting organization, Herbst has also volunteered in leadership roles with Chautauqua Hospice and Palliative Care, Chautauqua Region Community Foundation, SUNY Fredonia, UPMC Chautauqua and WCA Hospital Foundation, to name a few.
Now retired, the former Post-Journal editor, serves as a volunteer and president of the Board of Trustees at the Chautauqua County Historical Society, which also operates the McClurg Museum in Westfield.
Recently, under her leadership, the Historical Society entered into a partnership with the New York State Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation Department to operate a museum at the Barcelona Lighthouse.
“It’s both humbling and astonishing to receive this sort of recognition from your community and I thank you all for your kind words,” Herbst said. “The John D. Hamilton Award feels especially significant to me because of who it is named for. John Hamilton was the epitome of community service in Chautauqua County.”
Since 1994, the John D. Hamilton Community Service Award has been presented annually to individuals whose dedication, leadership and support further community spirit and enhance the quality of life in the Chautauqua Region.
A recording of the event is available on the Community Foundation’s website, crcfonline.org.