‘Good Neighbors’ recognized for dedication to staying informed

By: Mary Beth Almond | Rochester Post | Published April 19, 2017

ROCHESTER — Nancy Hill, Margaret Shepard and Sarah Zowada, known to many as “The Knitting Ladies,” were recently honored with a Good Neighbor Award.

The Rochester City Beautiful Commission presented the three women with the awards at the March 27 City Council meeting.

“We were rather surprised,” Zowada said of the recognition.

Hill, Shepard and Zowada were nominated for the award by Rochester Mayor Cathy Daldin, who said “they set a wonderful example for all of us.”

According to the nomination, Daldin said, “Week in and week out, we the members of the City Council are here to represent, support and reflect the will and wishes of the citizens of Rochester. We do this simply because we want to give back to our community. Well, week after week, there is another group of people who are here, rain or shine, to support us, stay informed on what is going on in the city. And, at the same time, hand-craft some pretty wonderful and warm things to wear.”

Daldin said The Knitting Ladies are a group of “curious, concerned and engaged citizens” who have taken “their hobby and turned it into a fun and creative way to stay in touch” with what is happening in their hometown.

“They set a wonderful example for all of us. If more people could stay connected the way they do, it would make our jobs on the council so much easier,” Daldin said in a statement.

The group originally began attending City Council meetings around six years ago to show their support for an issue regarding the Older Persons’ Commission budget, according to Zowada.

“We just went to support (the OPC) and found out that we totally enjoyed being there. Now we are interested in what’s going on,” she said.

Members of the City Beautiful Commission say Rochester is beautiful because of the many good neighbors who continually go above and beyond, and the commission encourages the public to nominate those who make every day in Rochester a more beautiful day.

Nominees must be Rochester residents, but do not need to be employed by the city, and they must have made a significant contribution to their community during the current calendar year quarter. The nominators will be asked to describe, in 400 words or fewer, why they think the people they are nominating deserve the award. Those selected will be recognized at a City Council meeting and will receive a plaque.

“The Good Neighbor Award was created to acknowledge people in the community who are doing something to go above and beyond and are not looking for any kind of recognition, and that is what we are here for,” CBC Chair Lynn Marie Oates said.

For more information, contact City Beautiful Commission Secretary Mark Panter at (248) 651-0515.