Clark honored with foundation Footprints award

Quiet Lion, contributor

OBSERVER Photo Peter Clark, left, is congratulated by past Northern Chautauqua Community Foundation Footprints award winner Dick Gilman at the annual meeting.

OBSERVER Staff Report

Quiet contributions, such as donating time to assist a local library or supporting trips for area veterans to Washington, D.C., can impact a number of individuals and a community. This week, the Northern Chautauqua Community Foundation honored one of these residents.

Peter Clark, a Fredonia attorney who served as president of the foundation for a number of years, was honored with the George B. Weaver Footprints award. The honor is for individuals, families or groups that create footprints for others to follow, exemplifying the NCCF’s mission of enhancing northern Chautauqua County. Clark and his wife, Gail, as well as other members of his family were in attendance with about 100 others in the Jamestown Community College North Center in Dunkirk for the foundation’s annual meeting.

John “Jay” Warren, a Dunkirk resident and retired educator, nominated Clark for the award and handled the introduction. “I have always admired Peter for the work he does in the community, his involvement in the community and, most importantly, the values that we share toward our families and community service,” Warren said.

He later noted that Clark leads by example on a daily basis. For more than three decades, he has served as a member of the board of directors at the Darwin R. Barker Library in Fredonia.

“He’s had a successful career while at the same time is giving back to the community,” said Fredonia Chamber of Commerce President David Dengler. “I found that really inspiring.”

Clark’s other passion is in the Lions Club where he has held just about every title in the club. He also remains a huge booster of the club’s Breakfast with Santa initiative that happens before Christmas. The event was once a fundraiser, but is now a community gathering with Clark playing the role of Santa.

A Vietnam veteran, Clark was the chief organizer of a one-day bus trip for World War II veterans to the nation’s capital to view the monuments. “He is a true patriot,” said Richard Johnson, Fredonia resident and newly elected foundation board member.

Diane Hannum, foundation executive director, praised the honoree for his work on the board. It was Clark who wanted the organization more involved in the public’s view. He began the annual Applebee’s pancake breakfast event and pushed to have the foundation be visible and present at the Chautauqua County Fair. Clark also wanted schools and students more involved and helped begin the Service Learning Mini-Grants that have been awarded to numerous area schools.

Besides the award, Clark was presented with a Northern Chautauqua Community Foundation tie. He noted his appreciation for the honor to the foundation, his family and the community. He then spoke about the importance of humor. “You don’t stop laughing because you grow old,” he said. “You grow old because you stop laughing.”