The United Way of the Tri-Valley Area (UWTVA) locally recognizes a remarkable volunteer each year by honoring the life of Gary A. LaGrange with the Community Impact Award. Gary was a selfless volunteer who dedicated hundreds of hours to community projects in Greater Franklin County, who passed away in December of 2013. Gary was particularly supportive of the United Way’s Community Energy Challenge. This year’s recipient of the Gary A. LaGrange Community Impact Award is Dennis O’Neil.

Dennis O’Neil has been ‘volunteer extraordinaire’ in the Farmington Community for four years. When he moved to Farmington from Massachusetts in 2008, he immediately joined Farmington Rotary, and became involved in this community. His volunteer resume includes: Working at W.G. Mallett Elementary as a kindergarten volunteer, serving over 650 hours, Literacy volunteers tutor, Titcomb Ski Slope volunteer helping with snowmaking, trail cleaning, carpentry, painting, working in the commissary, and lift safety.

He serves as a lector and a member of the Parish Council for St. Joseph’s church, Rotary Treasurer on the Board of Directors, chaired the United Way campaign in 2010-2011shepherding a team of people who raised more than $330,000, and also served as a board member, and Dennis also serves on the budget committee and the board of appeals for Farmington Municipality.

Here are quotes from the nominations submitted:

“Dennis is a tireless volunteer, a diligent worker, always willing to do anything to help his community. At Titcomb Ski Slope, he has given countless hours, working behind the scenes to helping to improve the lodge and ski conditions,” said Karleen Andrews, a former manager of the ski slope. “Dennis always follows through, and everything he does – he does well. Dennis contributes all of this time and work to Titcomb, and he does not ski!”

“Dennis has given hundreds of hours to Farmington Rotary and lives the motto, Service Above Self. Yearly, Dennis O’Neil gives thousands of hours to our community. In several short years, he has given more to this community than most people give in a lifetime.”

The Community Impact Award is decided on by the UWTA board of directors based on nominations. Know someone who you would like to nominate for 2015-2016? Applications for nominations can be found on UWTVA’s website at

Also consider nominating someone for the Presidential Service Award or Governor’s Award! Contact Eleni Margaronis, Volunteer Center Coordinator at [email protected] for more information.

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