In the spring of 1991, the Parish Committee voted to take an unprecedented action to establish for this Society an award to be presented to a worthy person, annually, if advisable. The award would recognize a person’s service to this Society over many years in many different ways. It is in essence an unsung hero sort of award.

Recipients will receive the recognition for actions and services he or she provides to the Society over many years—unasked, expecting no thanks, no notice, and no remuneration.

Plaque with names of Elsie Gaudette Award recipients
Elsie Gaudette Award plaque

It will be presented to a person who gives beyond all that might be expected of anyone, who performs services because they love this church.

Elsie was a singular character in the history of this church and our district. The Ballou-Channing District had had an Unsung UU Hero award since 1973, and Elsie had been accumulating her credentials for much longer than that. As a member of this church, she was a driving force in its very survival and growth since the early 1960’s. She was a board member, president, its collector, Women’s Alliance Chairperson, Search Committee member, a Ministerial Relations Committee member, a member recruiter, and the real cook and bottle washer in the kitchen. She was a bargain hunter, and abhorred waste! She did it all.

Elsie was also well-known in her community of Lakeville, contributing to many causes with the gusto and energy that belied her size and age. She was the library’s best friend and volunteer and the Historical Commission’s tireless advocate.

Elsie Gaudette
Elsie Gaudette with Claudia Mongin (left),
UU Middleboro president

In the Ballou-Channing District of the UUA, Elsie served on the Board, and as its secretary. She served on the Cedar Hill Conference Committee for many years. The District has already given her their UU Unsung Hero award in recognition of her dedication. She attended District events such as dedications, services, installations, and conferences held all over the District.

The group calling itself the Cranberry Cluster owed its existence to her vision of district community events including gatherings and dinners. The group was named after Elsie’s dessert creation using cranberries. It was served at all gatherings within the District.

Elsie Gaudette
Elsie Gaudette receiving the Unsung UU Award
from the Ballou-Channing District president,
with Linda Thompson (right)

To honor her dedication and spirit, this award was created to include others who work tirelessly and endlessly to serve others and especially the church itself.

The Elsie Gaudette Award is given annually to a person nominated by multiple members of FUUSM in a letter detailing the activities of the person thought to be worthy of recognition. The services performed would be included specifically by the nominator. Anyone may write and nominate a person at any time before April 30th. Then the committee of former recipients will meet to consider the candidates and decide if anyone will be honored that year.

The ceremony will take place during the 3rd Sunday of June. The certificate will be presented and the name added to the plaque for all posterity.

Linda Thompson, Chairperson

Recipients of the Elsie Gaudette Award

1992 – Dill Werley

1992 – Deborah Nunes

1993 – Albert F. “Bud” Soule Jr.

1994 – Preston H. Richmond

1995 – Susan W. Sherman

1996 – Linda E. Thompson

1997 – Cheryl MacQueen

1998 – Jeffrey C. Stevens

1999 – Marc A. MacQueen

2001 – Cynthia Benard

2002 – Andrea M. Priest

2003 – Lawrence R. Tummino

2006 – JR Pucillo-Dunphy

2011 – Maria Pucillo-Dunphy

2014 – Rick Benard

2018 – Kimberly French

2022 – Alan Melchior

2023 – Bob Waterman

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