Williamstown Honors Civic Service, Civic Servant

By Andy McKeeveriBerkshires Staff
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Elizabeth Costley has been active in community service organizations for nearly two decades but most recently helped organize the Fund for Williamstown's distribution of donations for residents of the Spruces.
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Elizabeth Costley was recognized with the annual Faith Scarborough Award for her community service.

The award, established in 1982 in memory of  former selectwoman and civic leader Faith Scarborough, is given at each town meeting. On Tuesday night, that honor was given to Costley after nearly two decades of involvement with community organizations.

Town Moderator Mark Gold read the certificate that recapped Costley's history. Her local involvement began in the early 1990s, when she was a host family for both Williams College's Center for Development Economics program and Mount Greylock Regional High School's A Better Chance program. She later became the chairman of the Greylock ABC program.

In 1993, she joined the Elementary School Endowment Board, which she later chaired, and started the Words Are Wonderful reading program there. In 2000, she was honored by the Williamstown Community Chest with a good citizen's award — but she didn't rest on her laurels.

She was elected to the Milne Public Library Board of Trustees the same year and, in 2004, joined the Williamstown Community Chest - becoming the campaign chairman in 2006 She also joined the Mount Greylock Regional High School Governance Council and, in 2009, helped form the Williams Center and its primary program Williams Fellows.

"You are known for your willingness to take on responsibility. Over time we've learned to lean on you with increasing frequency," Gold read. "You've been simultaneously involved in not less than seven community organizations."

Costley is also a founder of the Fund for Williamstown, which handled donations to the residents of the Spruces Mobile Home Park after it was destroyed by Hurricane Irene.

"Your organizational skills were instrumental in raising funds and providing quick, easy to access resources for those in immediate need," Gold read.

Building Inspector Michael Card was honored by the League of Women Voters as the Town Employee of the Year.
Costley, however, credits the achievements to her family and friends who are just as active. She recalled when she first began studying at Williams College to be an engineer and while that never panned out, her community work is still "building bridges."

"I've been so fortunate to work for a variety of board and organizations filled with dynamic and compassionate people united in their quest to make our community a better place," Costley said. "I've been inspired by those people and have come to call many of them my very best friends. I am also fortunate to be surrounded by a family of volunteers."

The League of Women Voters also honored Building Inspector Michael Card as the Town Employee of the Year for his efforts in inspecting — and sometimes make the "tough decisions" — the homes at the Spruces.

Also Tuesday, the Williamstown Community Chest Volunteer of the Year award went to Jill Strawbridge.

Tags: awards,   Scarborough Award,   volunteers,   


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