Every year (or so) we give out a couple of awards that recognize people who exemplify the commitment and love of all those who support The Extension. These awards are named for two people whose impact will be felt for generations. This year we gave out the awards at our annual Marietta Blues Bash, held in September.

This year’s Dr. Judith A Hoyt Award for Community Leadership went to Chief Dan Flynn, of the City of Marietta Police Department. As noted on the award’s inscription, “For saying what needs to be said and doing what needs to be done, we are grateful for your leadership and devotion to our community.” Our community is truly blessed to have Chief Flynn at the helm of the police department—he indeed serves and protects with his heart. His service and leadership is entirely consistent with Judy Hoyt’s example of selfless service and allegiance to the community.

This year’s Dr. Karl Steichen Award for Volunteer Service went to Warren Ridgeway. The inscription on the award sums up the high regard everyone who knows him feels: “Few have done so much for so many. Your steadfast dedication and love of life inspires us all.” Karl, who has taken care of our residents’ medical needs for decades, continues to arouse reverence and admiration in everyone whose lives he touches.

Four people, two awards, one special night, but the real winners are the people we serve. Donors and volunteers from across our community find a way, in so many ways, to offer homeless, addicted men and women a way to become accountable to themselves, their families, and the community. And our supporters offer a way for their families to heal and become whole. We are grateful for Judy Hoyt, Karl Steichen, Chief Flynn and Warren Ridgeway, just as we are grateful for everyone who reaches out through The Extension and feels the touch of another. It is at the point of contact that we become a community, where we all serve and all are served.