Launched in 2005, the award is given annually by the Farmington Downtown Development Authority to a volunteer in the Main Street program who has exhibited exemplary service to Downtown Farmington.
Andrade’s long list of accomplishments made her a natural selection for the award.
First volunteering in 2007, she has been involved most recently with the Harvest Moon Celebration and Riley Park Ice Rink Committees. She has coordinated volunteers, developed special events and promotions and held positions of leadership throughout her years of participation.
Melissa received recognition at the DDA’s Volunteer Appreciation Celebration on March 14, 2017, where she expressed gratitude for the recognition, but gave kudos to her peers in the volunteer corps. “Truthfully, I started volunteering to support the community, but now I do it because the fellow volunteers are my friends.”
Other outstanding volunteers receiving nominations for the award were Joe LaRussa, a member of the Downtown Master Plan Steering Team and Design Committee; Sean O’Reilly, man about town and member of the Harvest Moon Celebration and Ice Rink Committees; and Polly Varhol, Harvest Moon Celebration and Governor Warner Mansion volunteer.
“Melissa represents the classic progression of the Main Street model – she started as a volunteer, moved up to committee member to committee chair, to board member, to board leader and is now back in the volunteer pool,” said Annette Knowles, DDA Executive Director. “Melissa was at the helm of the DDA through some challenging times and we are grateful that she has stayed engaged as a hard-working volunteer. The slate of nominees was excellent, clearly outstanding, and all are worthy of our admiration.”
Knowles was honored at the event as well, as the DDA created a new namesake Legacy Award that will honor long-term volunteers in future years.
“In year’s past, we honored special, long-term nominees with a lifetime achievement award. This new honor will serve to memorialize those volunteers who contribute in enduring ways over the long-haul. It’s truly amazing and humbling to have this award named after me,” she stated.