On Saturday, our Co-op recognized Carolyn and Milt Frye, of Norwich, Vt, with the Allen and Nan King Award, a yearly honor given to Co-op members who have dedicated their lives to serving the community. The award was presented at the Co-op Annual Meeting, a business meeting held each spring for Co-op members and staff.
“The namesakes of this award, Nan and Allen, were heroes to Carolyn and Milt,” said Co-op board member Kevin Birdsey, who presented the Fryes with the award. “Ever humble, in accepting the award, the Fryes pointed out how many people are serving and volunteering in this community. This selfless attitude is exactly why we honor their contributions to our community in a myriad of ways.”
The King award is named after the late Allen and Nan King, two legendary community and cooperative activists who spent 50 years as Co-op members, board members, and volunteers. The award recognizes the achievements of Co-op members who, like Allen and Nan, demonstrate the ideals embodied in the Cooperative Principle “Concern for Community.”
The Cooperative Principles, defined by the International Cooperative Alliance, are the guidelines by which modern cooperatives put their values into practice. The seventh principle, “Concern for Community,” states that “Cooperatives work for the sustainable development of their communities, through policies approved by their members.”
The Fryes moved to Norwich and joined our Co-op in 1971. Over the years they have volunteered for the Prouty, Norris Cotton Cancer Center, Dartmouth International Friendship Family Program, Sustainable Hanover, and Willing Hands, an Upper Valley nonprofit that collects food donated by area farms and grocery stores and distributes it to needy in the Upper Valley.
Every Sunday, the Fryes pick up food donations from our Co-op, King Arthur Flour, and Killdeer Farm. In the summer and fall, they also manage a farm-gleaning program, recruiting and training 100 volunteers each year. Last year, 88 gleanings were held at nine local farms, collecting more than 78,000 pounds of produce.
“Wiling Hands is able to achieve much more than our small budget would suggest, thanks to the Fryes’ work,” said Gabe Zoerheide, executive director for Willing Hands.
“We’re not alone; we depend on many other volunteers to support our work,” Carolyn said while accepting the award. “The Co-op really helped us do what we’re doing today. We see that in so many cases, how the Co-op is involved with what people are doing in this community.”
As part of the King award, the Co-op will donate $500 to Willing Hands, the charity chosen by the Fryes.