By Mark Wineka
Described as someone who “has raised the bar hopelessly high for civic volunteers,” Barbara Perry was named Wednesday the 2008 recipient of the James A. Dunn Award for her efforts in community appearance.
Dunn, a former Salisbury city councilman who played a large part in establishing the Community Appearance Commission 24 years ago, said Perry multiplies her own commitment because she has a way of persuading people to do things they never would have volunteered for on their own.
“She does not take the word ‘serve’ lightly,” Dunn said. “For Barbara, if it’s not worth doing well, it’s not worth doing.”
Perry is an original member of the Community Appearance Commission, which held its biennial awards program Wednesday at Livingstone College. She currently chairs both the commission and the Public Arts Committee.
Dunn, who served as guest speaker earlier in the program, said Perry is known as “‘Queen B,’ for those of us who have fallen under her leadership spell.”
Other special awards handed out Wednesday included the Margaret H. Kluttz Neighborhood Improvement Award, which went to Historic Salisbury Foundation Managing Director Jack Thomson; the Mayor’s Cup, presented to Downtown Salisbury Inc.; and the Sustainable Salisbury Award, given to Food Lion Inc.
Thomson was recognized as a neighborhood champion, especially for his work with the McCubbins-McCanless House at 424 Park Ave., and making it the star of a History Channel show.
The project brought regional, state and national attention to Salisbury.
“More importantly,” former Mayor Margaret Kluttz said, “the project’s trickle-down effect has matched neglected architectural gems with dedicated owners, willing to invest money, time and courage into a neighborhood still in recovery.”
Current Mayor Susan Kluttz said Downtown Salisbury Inc. has shown a tireless effort in helping the central business gain strength every year ó “strength in investment, strength in reclaimed architecture and strength in creative solutions.”
In recognizing Food Lion, Kluttz said “sustainability” may be one of the most important words of the decade. “We often hear the word in discussions on energy, climate and the environment,” she said, “but it can also involve so much more.”
Local shareholders in Food Lion shared their success in the home-grown company by investing back in the community and funding the foundations for many educational, medical, social and cultural programs, Susan Kluttz said. Call it community sustainability.
Meanwhile, Food Lion also has become a model for environmental sustainability, Kluttz said. It is one of the first U.S. grocery chains to be part of the Environmental Protection Agency’s GreenChill Partnership, meaning it goes beyond regulatory requirements in protecting the ozone layer and reducing gashouse emissions.
The company has received the EPA’s Energy Star Partner of the Year Award and the Energy Star Sustained Excellence Award.
Here were other award winners recognized by the commission Wednesday:
– Special Preservation Award ó Kress Plaza, restored by Joel Goodman, “for the meticulous preservation of this retail landmark.” Goodman also won an award for the building’s signs, with an honorable mention going to Caniche at 200 S. Main St.
– Unity Award ó the Oak Grove Freedman’s Cemetery project, which “united a community in remembrance and celebration.”
– Site Improvements ó the Fulton Heights Neighborhood Association for its initiative behind the establishment of Centennial Park.
– Building Restoration ó Critters, 125 S. Main St.
– Downtown Facade Improvement ó Cartucci’s restaurant, 105 E. Fisher St.
– Downtown Building Renovation ó Michael and Diane Young, for 107-113 E. Innes St.
– Adaptive Re-use ó Hood Theological Seminary, 1810 Lutheran Synod Drive, for breathing new life into a former motel.
– Downtown New Construction ó Firehouse Urban Lofts, 119 S. Lee Street. The jury credited the developer with taking a risk and proving “that everything doesn’t have to be old and look old.”
– New Construction or Addition ó Power Curbers, 727 Bendix Drive.
– New Construction Outside the Downtown ó Catawba College for its new residences.
An outside awards jury of Charlotte architect Susan Crew, Davidson developer Ed Harris, Davidson town planner Parvis Moosavi and marketing director Katie Pepper decided the winners.
The Salisbury Tree Board also gave awards of excellence for tree planting to Walgreens at East Innes Street and Faith Road and McDonald’s on Jake Alexander Boulevard West.
Leo and Virginia Wallace of 508 S. Fulton St. also were recognized for their care of one of the state’s biggest ginkgo trees at their home.
By Mark Wineka