The man who helped revive a Lakes Region community, an organization that helps the state’s Vietnam veterans and a city with a bold vision for the future are this year’s recipients of the Profile Awards, presented Sunday afternoon in Franconia Notch.
Created in 2003 after the fall of the Old Man of the Mountain, the Profile Awards are given annually to an individual, an organization and a community, recognizing their work in preserving the resources and character of New Hampshire in the spirit of the state’s icon. This year’s recipients are Rusty McLear of Meredith; the Vietnam Veterans of America – New Hampshire Council, and the city of Rochester.
McLear was recognized for his work and dedication that has helped revitalized Meredith over the past 20 years.
“Rusty has been an outstanding leader in preservation and economic development in his community, turning vacant asbestos mills to premier hotels and helping to inspire others in preserving their own properties,” said Union Leader Corp. President Joseph McQuaid, who serves on the Profile Awards’ selection committee of the Old Man of the Mountain Legacy Fund. “Rusty’s ability to inspire others has brought state and local officials, non-profit and civic organizations, volunteers, and local businesses together in efforts to maintain and continually increase the preservation of historic buildings and land conservation.”
Working throughout the state to make sure veterans get care and support they need, four chapter of the Vietnam Veterans of America – NH Council work tirelessly to provide just that. From organizing fairs and fundraisers to supporting local families when they need it, to tackling issues lie Agent Orange, post-traumatic stress disorder and caring for homeless veterans at Liberty House in Manchester, the organization strengthens the bonds forged in times of war.
“It is fitting to recognize the Vietnam Veterans of America– NH State Council for this year’s organization award,” McQuaid said. “March 30, 2011 was declared ‘Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day,’ 38 years after troops were withdrawn from Vietnam.”
The award also honors the 46,000 Vietnam-era veterans living in New Hampshire, he said, and remembers 227 New Hampshire soldiers who lost their lives during the Vietnam War.
McQuaid also noted, “Franconia Notch Forest Reservation and Memorial Park was dedicated in 1928 as a memorial to the men and women of New Hampshire who served the nation in times of war.”
Long known as the Lilac City, Rochester has become one of the fastest growing cities in New Hampshire. Where mills once hummed, the city has undertaken protection of its historic, scenic and cultural assets, while attracting high quality commercial, residential and industrial development.
“Rochester residents have a strong sense of volunteerism, supporting causes that make the city a livable and friendly place,” McQuaid said. “Keep a watch on Rochester, NH. It is a special community with a bold vision for its future.”
Presentation of the Profile Awards followed the dedication of the Old Man of the Mountain Profile Plaza on the shore of Profile Lake. The plaza features seven ‘profilers,’ which, when viewed from a specific angle depending on the height of the viewer, puts back on the cliffside the visage of the Old Man of the Mountain. The plaza is laid with more than 250 engraved granite blocks purchased by people, companies and organizations who are now a part of the enduring legacy for future generations of the Old Man of the Mountain. For more information about the Old Man of the Mountain Legacy Fund, visit www.NHOldMan.org.