MEXICO — Lisa Tutlis Arsenault is the town’s Volunteer of the Year for 2021, cited for activities  including delivering packages to police and military personnel and picking up trash and road hazards on her daily walks.

Lisa Tutlis Arsenault is honored last Tuesday as Mexico’s Volunteer of the Year. She is shown with Cliff Stewart, chairman of the Mexico Board of Selectmen. Bruce Farrin/Rumford Falls Times

“The select board and town manager want you to know that all your efforts have not gone unnoticed,” Cliff Stewart, chairman of the Board of Selectmen, said last Tuesday when presenting the award, a certificate and a $50 gift card.

“I certainly appreciate someone thinking I was worthy,” Arsenault said, “but I am just another human, plugging along at life, trying to do the right thing. As I get older, I try daily to live my life in such a way that I am helping others and staying happy and healthy. I am no different than anyone else.”

Arsenault said her volunteer efforts were inherited from her parents, especially her mother, Connie Tutlis, who received the award in 2010.

Stewart cited Arsenault’s part in the town’s cleanup day and her other contributions.

“In the past, you have gathered and delivered snacks and cards to our local police force during the holidays,” he said. “You have designed T-shirts for kids’ camps and volunteered at numerous 5K races, including Dee Dee’s Swift River Trail 5K Run and Walk, held annually at the Mexico Rec Park.”

Arsenault also assists at the polls on voting day, he said, “and has organized, collected and delivered numerous care packages to our deployed servicemen and women.”

“If that is not enough,” Stewart said, “on a daily basis, when out walking, you pick up trash and sharp objects in the road so our citizens do not get flat tires.”

Arsenault’s safety sense goes beyond road hazards, Stewart said.

“I must say, the safety and patriotism that you show is great,” he said. “If there’s a streetlight out anywhere in town, or if there’s a flag hanging in disrepair, you make sure I know about it.”

Arsenault was also recognized for volunteering at the rec center, cleaning, planning and leading fitness classes for Fire and Iron Athletics and “keeping all of us participants younger and in better shape.”

“I’m told by your students that it’s definitely a love-hate relationship,” Stewart said.

Rich Viitala Jr., owner of Fire & Iron Athletics, wrote in a note read by Stewart: “Lisa is an inspiration to so many just by being her. I know she inspires me daily to be a better human.”

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