Karyn Rocheleau thanks the crowd for coming to the Chamber mixer held Thursday, Jan. 19. During the event, Rocheleau was awarded the Timothy Bovat Civic Involvement Award for 2022. 

ST. ALBANS — Karyn Rocheleau was awarded the 2022 Timothy Bovat Civic Involvement Award this past Thursday during a special ceremony held at Peoples Trust Company.

The annual award is presented to individuals or groups who stand out in service to the local community. It’s been awarded by the Franklin County Regional Chamber of Commerce and the Bovat family since 2000.

“I’m really humbled by this and I really appreciate you all being here tonight,” Rocheleau said after accepting this year’s award. “Thank you so much to the chamber and the Bovat family, I'm truly honored.”

In her retirement, Rocheleau volunteers with both Northwest Family Foods and Martha’s Kitchen, serves on the board of Northwestern Medical Center and leads the St. Albans Rotary Club as its president. She is also a founding member of 100 Women Who Care and has helped create programs at BFA-St. Albas that teach leadership and financial literacy.

“Karyn Rocheleau’s name is synonymous with giving and volunteerism, something she does with little fanfare. Her name has crossed my desk so frequently over the years, she seems to be everywhere all the time quietly doing all the things,” chamber director Lisamarie Charlesworth said Thursday night.

Charlesworth also broke the news Thursday that Rocheleau had been recognized through Gov. Phil Scott’s “Rays of Kindness” program. The state initiative was created to “call more attention to the rays of hope and good deeds happening throughout Vermont, and the good people making them happen.”

As part of the Bovat award ceremony, Charlesworth read the letter received from Scott’s office that highlighted Rocheleau’s work to those in attendance.

“I would like to show my own thanks by declaring an official recognition of your selfless service,” Scott’s letter read. “Your compassionate enthusiasm to help others is one of the many reasons to feel hopeful and inspired. It is Vermonters like you who helped us light the way for the nation in our acts of kindness and community spirit.”

When Rocheleau came forward to accept the Bovat award, she received a handshake from Lisa Bovat, who also had a few words to say about Rocheleau’s service. 

Lisa Bovat is the sister of Tim Bovat, the namesake of the award. Bovat died in 2000 from a traumatic brain injury after years of community service to St. Albans, including work with the Chamber of Commerce, St. Albans Rotary and the Franklin County Court Diversion Program.

“I feel like Karen’s resume just in her retirement would be exactly how Tim’s would read today,” Bovat said. 

Rocheleau, however, didn’t take much credit for her efforts, choosing instead to thank the crowd and the award presenters for being involved in recognizing service.

“It’s really all of us working together, that we’re able to make a difference for our community and move everybody forward,” she said.”And for that I’d like to accept on behalf of all of you. Most of you, I see your faces, you've helped with a ton of projects that we’ve all worked on together and tried to move the community forward and helped those who are in need. So I really appreciate it. I'm so grateful for everything you’ve done. Thank you, thank you, thank you so much.”

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