4 honored for making positive impact on Hamilton

Frank Downie (far left), Lauren and Ty Smallwood (top right), and Liz Hayden (bottom right) are the recipients of the 2017 Vision Awards from the Hamilton Vision Commission. CONTRIBUTED
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Frank Downie (far left), Lauren and Ty Smallwood (top right), and Liz Hayden (bottom right) are the recipients of the 2017 Vision Awards from the Hamilton Vision Commission. CONTRIBUTED

The four people being honored with this year’s Vision Award have all turned ideas into actions that have made a positive impact on the community, organizers said.

Frank Downie, Liz Hayden, and Lauren and Ty Smallwood are recipients of the 2017 Vision Awards and will be honored during an event today.

The Greater Hamilton Chamber of Commerce, Hamilton Rotary Club and the Lindenwald Kiwanis join together each year to host a Red Carpet Luncheon that honors the Hamilton Vision Commission’s honorees.

“We are blessed to have them in Hamilton,” Mayor Pat Moeller said of this year’s honorees. “Leaders do not have to speak the loudest or talk the most at meetings or even have to log hour after hour at meetings. Community leaders turn ideas into successful projects that positively impact people’s quality of life.”

The four honorees were chosen to represent the three main areas of the city’s Strategic Plan: Live, Work and Play.

Downie, has been a resident of Hamilton for 62 years, was selected to receive the “Live” award.

He is the founder and chairman of the Lindenwald Community Council PROTOCOL (People Reaching Out to Others; Celebrating Our Lindenwald), and helped with Joy to the WALD, which donates toys to underserved children at the holidays.

Downie also helped with the Community Appearance awards and work with Miami Hamilton’s Center for Civic Engagement in order to have service-learning students and senior capstone classes work, study and conduct research in the Lindenwald community.

Hayden, who works for the city’s Economic Development Department, will be honored with the “Work” award for her efforts with small business development and downtown revitalization. She recently has been focusing on the Main Street Business District and is actively involved in the CORE Fund.

Her volunteerism extends to committees for Alive After 5, Operation Pumpkin and the Main Street Area Association.

The Smallwoods have been chosen for the “Play” award for their efforts starting Hamilton Flea, a monthly curated flea market.

Both Lauren and Ty Smallwood are lifelong Hamiltonians who created the Hamilton Flea because of their love for the city and its quest to grow small businesses, according to Hamilton Vision Commission President Nancy Wiley.

Lauren is a 17 Strong Advisory Board member as well as a board member of the Boys & Girls Club of Hamilton. Ty became principal of Highland Elementary School in 2016 and was a finalist for the Harry T. Wilks Educator of the Year award. At the end of March, he will begin serving as a board member for the Booker T. Washington Community Center.

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