For 20 years, the United Way has hosted a Salute to Labor Dinner.
The annual event was held Wednesday at the Jamestown Elk's Lodge. This year, Robert Servis was honored with the Joseph H. Mason Community Service Award for 2013. The event, which highlights the partnership between the United Way and organized labor, was emceed by United Way board members Stephen Skidmore, of CSEA Unit 6300, and David Wilkinson, IBEW Local 106.
"Members of the labor community not only make monetary donations to the United Way campaign, but they are the ones serving as volunteer firemen, coaches and scout leaders," Wilkinson said. "Their contributions are part of what makes this a great community for everyone to enjoy."
Robert Servis, recipient of the Joseph H. Mason Community Service Award, gives a speech following receipt of his award.
P-J photo by Liz Skoczylas
The Elk's Lodge was full, as guests enjoyed a buffet dinner, followed by a brief labor meeting. The highlight of the event was recognizing a union member of staff person whose volunteer service mirrors the spirit of involvement exhibited by Mason.
"Joseph Mason's legacy of community service lives on in this award named for him," Skidmore said. "Each year, past winners select the recipient based on criteria that reflect his commitment. It also gives us a chance to thank the Mason family for carrying on that legacy.
Tory Irgang, United Way of Southern Chautauqua County executive director, along with members of the Mason family, presented this year's award to Servis.
Servis is a member of the American Federation of Musicians No. 134, and is a retired police officer and member of the Kendall Club PBA. He has provided security for dignitaries at local events, and has a long history of supporting individuals with disabilities. Servis is a ride captain for the Patriot Guard Riders, an organization that honors fallen soldiers at funeral services across the country. He has also volunteered for Junior Guilders, Little Theater, and was a D.A.R.E. officer for several years for the Jamestown Public Schools.
After his introduction, Servis gave a speech, providing more of his biography and thanking the United Way and labor.
The United Way of Southern Chautauqua County helps support 18 partner agencies and 39 local programs. For more information about United Way or the 2013 campaign, call 483-1561, or visit www.uwayscc.org. They also have a Facebook page, United Way of Southern Chautauqua County, and they are on Twitter, @uwayscc.