There aren’t many community-building initiatives in Penn Yan that haven’t benefited from the efforts of Alan “Herbie” and Lauren Snyder.
From raising awareness about Alzheimer’s disease to driving veterans to and from appointments, Herbie and Lauren practice social responsibility from A to V.
“To be part of the community, you have to give back, not just take from it,” said Lauren, who learned social consciousness from her parents. “I think we were geared toward it. We both grew up with community service instilled in us. It just seems like the natural thing to do.”
In recognition of their steadfast service to their hometown, Herbie and Lauren have been named the 2023 recipients of Keuka College’s Donald and Corinne Stork Award for Community Service. The award will be presented on Tuesday, Aug. 15, at a noon luncheon in the Geiser Dining Commons, inside the Dahlstrom Student Center at Keuka College. Check-in begins at 11:30 a.m.
“When you think of Don and Corry Stork and what they meant to this community … how can you even possibly be in the same category?” said Lauren, referring to the award’s namesakes. “How can that be? It kind of brings tears to my eyes.”
Herbie agrees, adding that receiving the award is humbling.
“By volunteering, you see the needs of the community, or learn something you might not know if you weren’t involved,” he said. “It makes me feel good to see that what I do impacts somebody else’s life, just by giving a few hours of my time.”
According to Penn Yan residents Virginia Turner and Jamie L Sisson, who nominated the Snyders for the award, the recognition is well-deserved.
“When you think about the unselfish commitment of individuals to our community's common good, you cannot miss thinking about Herbie and Lauren Snyder,” they said. “They are humble and valuable members of our community. With their service, we are a stronger and better community!”
Together, Herbie and Lauren have volunteered with organizations such as the Council on Alcoholism and Finger Lakes Area Counseling and Recovery Agency, Yates Christmas Program, and Dundee Mobile Food Pantry. In addition, they served as board members of Mozaic (formally Arc of Yates), where they established the Snyder Family Fund to benefit its arts program. They also helped found Rainbow Junction Educational Care Center.
Herbie served as a Marine during two tours in Vietnam, is active in the American Legion, and drives veterans to their medical appointments. Herbie also served on the Yates County Planning Board and is the emcee for Miss Penn Yan at the village’s annual Starshine event.
“What drives me is that when I see someone in need, I think I can make a difference, even if it’s not a lot,” said Herbie.
Lauren served as a Yates County Public Nurse and a Medical Reserve Corps Volunteer. She also serves as vice president on the boards of Penn Yan Manor Nursing Home and Clinton Crest Manor. She is also active with the Dundee Rotary Club and as a member of the Walk for Alzheimer's Disease committee.
“The most rewarding part is there is something about volunteering that just fills you up; there is no other way to put it,” said Lauren.
The Stork Award was established in 1991 by Keuka College to recognize outstanding individuals who exemplify the College’s commitment to valuing individual initiative for the common good. The award was named after its first recipients, the late Donald and Corinne Stork.
Tickets for the luncheon are $16. Seating is limited, so advanced reservations are advised. Register online before the reservation deadline of Tuesday, Aug 8.
For additional information, contact Kathy Waye, Keuka College’s director of Field Period® program and community relations, at (315) 279 5602 or email [email protected]