For the first time since its inception, the Bill Hoyt Distinguished Service Award took on a new format this year with awards being presented to three entities, rather than an individual.

For the first time since its inception, the Bill Hoyt Distinguished Service Award took on a new format this year with awards being presented to three entities, rather than an individual.
The Bill Hoyt Distinguished Service Award was established in 1994 and has been presented annually to a person residing in Livingston County who does outstanding service for his/her city, community, village or county. It was established in honor of then-presiding Livingston County Commissioner Bill Hoyt, who gave more than 35 years of service to the county.
The format change was a suggestion made by his son Warren Hoyt as a way to honor groups that his father had helped establish, supported or whose work he admired. This year’s award recipients were Chapter T PEO Program for Continuing Education, the Livingston County Multi-Purpose Center and RSVP. The awards were presented during the RSVP Christmas Recognition program Thursday afternoon at the Grand River Multi-Purpose Center.
Chuck Haney, president of the Bill Hoyt Distinguished Service Award Committee, provided information about the award and introduced Warren Hoyt.
“It was because of him and his mother and father that this committee was established,” Haney said. “Thank you, Warren, for all of your work.”
Bill Hoyt Distinguished Service Award Committee Secretary Barbara Lame presented the first award to Mary Turner, Chairperson for the PEO Program for Continuing Education.
“PEO Program for Continuing Education is a group that helps young women who have had a break in their education and want to go back to school to better themselves, or to help support their families to go back to college and obtain a degree,” Lame said.
Turner then presented the award to Katie Maples, a third-grade teacher at Field School who is pursuing her master’s degree in curriculum and instruction. Lame said that PEO provided funds to help Maples get started in pursuing her master’s degree and this award will help with her second semester.
Warren Hoyt presented the next award, which went to the Grand River Multi-Purpose Center. Director Cindy Ireland accepted the award on behalf of the center.
Chuck Haney presented the RSVP award to Patty Mefford, director of the RSVP program.
Mefford thanked those who give of their time and talents to assist the community through the RSVP program. The RSVP began in 1973 and now has approximately 300 volunteers who contribute a combined 45,000 hours of service to the community each year.
Over the years, there have been 21 Bill Hoyt Distinguished Service Award recipients; six of those are now deceased, Haney said. He read the list of former recipients:
Bill Hoyt Distinguished Service
Award Recipients
1994: Bill Hoyt
1995: Ruth Seiberling
1996: Charlene Coleman
1997: Vincent Moore
1998: Lucy Murphy and Bob Skinner
1999: Dr. John “Jack” Neal
2000: Dr. Leonard Fair
2001: Ed Douglas
2002: Betty Preston Steele
2003: Ed Turner
2004: Bob Staton Sr.
2005: Bill Murry
2006: Chuck Haney and Dale Whiteside
2007: Eva Danner
2008: Jerry Wilford
2009: R. Wayne Cunningham
2010: Ken Lauhoff
2011: Judge Barbara Lame
2012: John E. Cook
Warren Hoyt thanked those who have been part of the committee.
“They spent a lot of hours and a lot of time on this,” he said. “I know Dad would appreciate that. These awards have been very good.”
Current members of the Bill Hoyt Distinguished Service Award Committee are President Chuck Haney, Secretary Barbara Lame, Treasurer Cindy Ireland (all original members); Assistant Treasurer Warren Hoyt, Betty Preston Steele, Ed Douglas, Todd Rodenberg, and Andrea Walker Graves. Honorary ex-officio members of the  committee are Winston Buckner, Charlene Coleman, and Dr. John “Jack” Neal.
East District Commissioner Ken Lauhoff served as the master of ceremonies for the RSVP Christmas program. Entertainment was provided by vocalists Clay and Karen Jensen, with piano accompaniment by Jamie Pauls.
Christmas recognition committee members were Mary Davis, Clara Ratliff, Hazel Bosler, Susan Norris, Sherry Savage and Sherry Weldon.