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Cheers to our Volunteer of the Year

Aleacia Landon (Enterprise photo — Griffin Kelly)

Aleacia Landon has only lived in Saranac Lake for three-and-a-half years, but she has done more good work for the community than most people have in a lifetime.

Shortly after moving here, she took over as director of the Saranac Lake Youth Center. While the youth center has temporarily gone quiet, like so many other things during the coronavirus shutdown, it typically draws about 25 kids each day after school, and up to 45 on a busy day. Anyone who has supervised that many rambunctious kids, largely middle schoolers, can attest that this alone qualifies Landon for sainthood.

But that is just her main job. While it certainly shows what a generous person she is, she also does all kinds of other service work without pay.

She is a member of the Franklin County Suicide Prevention Coalition and runs its monthly Suicide Survivor Loss Support Group. She knows how important that is from personal experience; her brother died of suicide in 2002.

It is another personal connection — a son with autism — that drives her to be involved with the Aktion group for adults with developmental disabilities.

She also delivers food for the Saranac Lake Adult Center’s weekly food pantry. She is also the director of the Olga Memorial Footrace, which raises money for the youth center and the Saranac Lake Rotary club. She is also a member of the Saranac Lake Kiwanis Club and secretary of the Fifth Quarter Club, the booster club for the Saranac Lake High School football team. She helped establish the local teen LGBTQ support group, and she helps out at the election night dinners hosted by the First United Methodist Church of Saranac Lake.

And she does it all with a bright smile and a friendly voice. She’s amazing.

Therefore, the Adirondack Daily Enterprise and Lake Placid News are proud to feature her as our 2020 Volunteer of the Year. She is on the cover of this year’s Community Resource Directory, a copy of which is inserted inside today’s paper. It is also available for free at locations all over the Tri-Lakes area, including in front of our office at 54 Broadway, Saranac Lake.

Make sure you get a copy. Now, as we are all hunkered down at home to prevent the spread of COVID-19, it is more important than ever to know the vast array of resources available in your hometown, and how to get a hold of them. Granted, some of the resources listed in this guide are temporarily shut down right now, but you will know how to access them when they ramp back up.

Aleacia Landon is far from the only extraordinary volunteer in the Tri-Lakes area. Our staff had many wonderful nominees to choose from, as we do every year, going back to when we started this award in 1991.

At the risk of sounding too obvious, we cannot help but say how happy and grateful we are for the wonderful people who live here and work hard to help their neighbors.

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