Originally published in Island Ad-Vantages, October 3, 2019
Former community center president receives leadership award
by Monique Labbe
Former Island Community Center president Lydia MacDonald has been named the 2019 recipient of the Camden National Bank Leaders and Luminaries award.
Four awards are handed out each year, with each recipient winning $5,000 for the nonprofit of his or her choice. With MacDonald’s win, her $5,000 will go toward the future of the Island Community Center.
The Island Community Center board nominated MacDonald for the award after her work as president during a “hard time for the center and the board as a whole,” according to Director Jeannie Hatch.
“The relationship between the Island Community Center and the town of Stonington was going through a difficult time. Her work to improve relations with the town and improve internal board dynamics as well as the struggle to handle an assessment that could potentially be the end of the ICC was the basis for her nomination,” said Hatch.
Before the community center became a place for public gatherings, it was the elementary school where MacDonald spent her grade school years. This, according to her Leaders and Luminaries award application, which was written by current Island Community Center President Phil Elkin, gave her firsthand knowledge of the importance of the building to the town. Her involvement with the Island Community Center itself ranged from board member to eventual president, during which time she worked hard to make sure the center would not only continue to be a presence in the community, but a thriving one. This included working diligently with the board, as well as the Stonington Board of Selectmen.
“She truly worked hard to create a positive narrative with the selectmen that allowed for good communication flow and a hope for a future for the ICC,” said Hatch.