I had the privilege to announce the recipient of the 2014 “Mary Lee Friend of Youth Award” at Rochester’s Holiday Senior Brunch/Youth Awards presentation on December 13, 2014. I would like to share that moment – and my appreciation – with the readers of Blue Stone Press:
The “Mary Lee Friend of Youth Award” recognizes an adult dedicated to the positive development and well-being of the youth in the Town of Rochester. I’m happy that this year the recipient is Tana Miller.
Back when I was Councilwoman and Town Board Liaison to the Youth Commission, I’ve often heard Youth Department Director Carol Dennin reporting about the free “Lunch with Tana” – an event taking place every single Monday during the summer programs.
It sounded interesting, but I couldn’t fully grasp what Tana was doing before I actually participated to her lunches, and admired her work with the kids…
From shopping and preparing the food for over 50 children and counselors – while teaching kids how to cook! – each “Lunch with Tana” required time, energy and enthusiasm, all on top of financial and physical effort.
But, most of all, the lunches showcased Tana’s love for kids. I was fascinated watching her interact with the children: always smiling, she met and talked to each and every child participating in the summer programs; always smiling, while fine-tuning kids’ good manners, and… last but not least… teaching them how to cook and appreciate good food, healthy, tasty and even colorful!
Personally, I thank Tana for always being welcoming, and for making me understand that we cannot appreciate all aspects of an activity before we participate in it, before getting involved.
On behalf of our town’s Youth Department and Youth Commission I thank Tana Miller for her many years of working with our children during the summer programs, for being such a wonderful, true “Friend of Youth.” We wish her the very best!
Once again, congratulations for receiving the well-deserved “Mary Lee Friend of Youth Award!” And, of course, we hope to see you next summer, Tana!
Town of Rochester Youth Commission member
Published in Blue Stone Press, December 19, 2014