Do you know someone who continuously steps forward to help advance and strengthen our Vermont communities? Your ideal civic leader could be the next person to be honored with the statewide Vermont Chamber Citizen of the Year Award.Presented annually for nearly four decades, the Citizen of the Year award is given to a person who: 1) Has made major contributions to the betterment of Vermont; 2) Has distinguished himself or herself through outstanding service to the community; and 3) Typifies the true spirit of service and self-sacrifice in representing the finest ideal of Vermont Citizenship.The 2003 Citizen of the Year will be honored with a special recognition banquet in the fall. The application includes a nomination form, a brief biographical sketch of the nominee, and supporting testimonials. A Selection Committee comprised of Vermont Chamber Board Members and past award winners will select the winner.Last year’s Vermont Chamber Citizen of the Year was The Honorable Barbara W. Snelling. Other past winners include Judge Sterry Waterman (1983), Martha H. O’Connor (1994), Sister Elizabeth Candon (1985), Governor Thomas P. Salmon (1996), Francis G.W. Voigt (2000), and Diane P. Mueller (2001).Please contact Vicky Tebbetts, Vermont Chamber Vice President of Communications, with any questions or to receive a nomination form. (firstname.lastname@example.org(link sends e-mail), 802-223-3443 ext 123). The deadline for nominations is July 15, 2003.
UPDATED: Jan. 30, 2020 at 10:02 p.m.Before the accolades and fame in his small town, a 10-year-old Joe Girard III sat alone in a gym in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania after doing what he’d go on to do so rarely: lose.He was a representative of the Glens Falls Lodge for the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, a national fraternal organization, during its annual Hoop Shoot program. In 2011, Girard was in his second year of the free throw shooting competition and made it to the East Coast Regional. He hit all 25 of his required free throws, but his competitor did, too.Four tie-breaking rounds later, Girard had just two misses, but was edged out for the final. Girard, even at 10 years old, remained stoic, but separated from his dad because of a coaching ban during the event. Another parent spotted Girard across the room and approached him.“That was the best competition I’ve seen,” the man said. There was a ball signed by the competitors that was raffled off to raise money for the organization. The man had won it earlier, but offered the ball to Girard, who perked up.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textNow, Syracuse’s (13-8, 6-4 Atlantic Coast) starting point guard is by far its best free throw shooter. For the root of Girard’s success — one filled with state championships and scoring records — to emerge within a seemingly nondescript youth free throw competition only adds to his allure. “That was my main focus way back then,” Girard said recently. Now, the second-best free throw shooter in the country (94.5%) credits the Elks and that competition for helping him develop the same routine he does at the line every time: Right foot lined behind the left, three dribbles, step right and shoot.“He’s had foul shooting in his blood since he was nine years old,” Brian Greene, Hoop Shoot’s program director, said.Katie Getman | Design EditorGirard had worked with his father every day to prepare for Hoop Shoot. He was eliminated in the opening round in 2010 and entered an advanced 10-11 age group the year after. Around competition time, he shot 300 free throws daily. During the competition, contestants shoot 10 free throws, break, then shoot their final 15. As they trained, Girard shot 10 free throws then Joe Jr. sat with him for 10, 15 and sometimes 25 minutes. The two just chatted — about school, basketball — then Girard stepped back on the line and finished his set of 25.“He’s shot maybe a million free throws by now,” Joe Jr. said.He found a rhythm in that routine, and his accurate shooting from the foul line has set the tone for a Syracuse team that’s played much cleaner over its last six games. SU’s shot 74-for-92 (80.4%) over that stretch, up from 70.8%.In the final minute of Syracuse’s matchup with Notre Dame last week, Girard stepped to the line with the Orange up by two points. Joe Jr. couldn’t attend the game, so he shouted at his television instead, hoping the repetition of his orders would echo inside Girard’s head. “Trust your training!” he yelled. His son hit 2-of-2 free throws, and SU closed the game.Despite the obvious clichés about preparation and focus, the importance of rhythm became evident to Girard in his 10-year-old stint at Hoop Shoot. Before he shot his final tie-breaking set of five free throws the scorekeeper wasn’t set, and the referee took the ball away from him. He abandoned his routine and missed the first free throw. “What did you learn from that?” Greene remembered Joe Jr. asked Girard. So, Girard reset each time, taking an extra moment if he needed.Emily Steinberger | Design EditorA year after his regional loss, Girard advanced to the national championship, and after another perfect first round finally bested his opponent in the second tiebreaker. He snuck out of Glens Falls after only hitting 22-of-25 free throws, but he hit 133-of-135 free throws in the next five rounds of the competition. He won the national championship, and publicly displayed his uber-confident assurance, declaring to The Post Star “every time I shoot, I knew it was going in.” He even won the raffle for a signed ball, just like the one he was gifted a year earlier.The nine-year-old boy Girard had beat found a spot away from the competitors and cried. While his father consoled him, Girard walked over and knelt down in front of him.“I remember when I lost this way,” Greene remembered Girard said to the boy. “I didn’t really like it.”Girard offered the ball he won forward: “That ball made me feel better.”CORRECTION: In a previous version of this post, it said Girard did his first interview with The Post Star in 2012, but that was not his first interview. The Daily Orange regrets this error. Comments Published on January 29, 2020 at 11:30 pm Contact Michael: email@example.com | @MikeJMcCleary Facebook Twitter Google+