JAMESTOWN – The Chautauqua Region Community Foundation presented its annual John D. Hamilton Community Service Award to Peter and Holly Sullivan, of Bemus Point, during a reception at Moon Brook Country Club on Thursday.
Although Peter and Holly grew up in two different communities, he in Jamestown, she in Berea, Ohio, their parents instilled in them the importance of doing good for others. While students at University of Miami (Ohio), they met and began dating. On August 24, 1969, they married and returned to the Chautauqua region in the early 1970s.
“My family was always very involved in the community, I was just sort of born into it,” Peter said. “When I moved back to Jamestown (after college) I wanted to do a lot of the things I had seen my father do.”
Like his father, Paul B. Sullivan, Peter became an integral part of the community and used his financial prowess to serve on a number of committees dedicated to capital campaigns. His first experience was with the United Way of Southern Chautauqua County’s 1978 campaign. Since then, he has been involved with the Jamestown YMCA’s campaign to renovate the building and WCA Hospital’s emergency room campaign.
In addition to fundraising activities, Peter has served as president of Moon Brook Country Club, member of the Reg Lenna Center for the Arts, board of directors of the James Prendergast Library Association and more. Currently, he is president of The Ralph C. Sheldon Foundation and is a member of the Jamestown YMCA.
Peter is also credited with bringing the Ice Pick Competition to the Chautauqua Lake Association, and along with Holly, led the renovations of Putt-A-Round Chautauqua, the mini-golf course at Midway State Park.
Growing up in Berea, a suburb of Cleveland, Holly witnessed first hand the impact a person can have in their community.
“My parents taught us, when we were very young, how important it is to get involved,” Holly said.
Since moving to the Chautauqua region, Holly has been involved with the Reg Lenna Center for the Arts, WCA Hospital and AAUW Jamestown. In 1984, she was named Woman of the Year by the Jamestown Interclub Council.
More recently, Holly was a founding member and board member of the Lucy-Desi Comedy Center and is currently serving on the National Comedy Center committee. She is also currently a volunteer with Court Appointed Special Advocates of Chautauqua County.
“We are very proud to receive this award,” Peter said. “To be recognized as a couple is so special to us. We will never forget it.”
The John D. Hamilton Community Service Award recognizes an individual, or a group, who has demonstrated dedication, leadership, and support in furthering community spirit and enriching the quality of life in the Chautauqua region. This is the fourth time the recipients are a husband and wife. The first award was presented to John D. Hamilton in 1993.