After sifting through two ballot boxes and an email account full of eager votes, The Orange Times is proud to announce Baxter Walsh as the newspaper’s Volunteer of the Year.
The public was asked to vote on one of several candidates picked from 2 years worth of articles by columnist and Orange Board of Education co-chair Jody Dietch. Her contributions focused on volunteers and their contributions to the Orange community. She wrote about Walsh for her April 14, 2013 column.
“I’m honored, humbled and grateful to have been picked from among so many very worthy candidates,” Walsh said.
Walsh came to Orange from Portland, Maine and is a graduate of Boston University.
Walsh serves as the chairman of community services for the Orange Rotary Club where he helps guide the organization’s charitable efforts. For example, they’ve donated more than 1,000 coats to Bridgeport and New Haven school’s so children in need can have something warm for the winter months as part of Operation Warm.
Aside from his work with the Rotary Club, Walsh participates in the School Volunteer Association in Bridgeport. They help provide tutoring and mentors as well as donate books and read to students.
He volunteers at the Community Services Center and sits on the Computer Center Advisory Board.
Walsh has several years of service on the Conservation Commission under his belt as well. He also has joined the Orange Library Commission.
Rowing is one of his passions, which Walsh indulges as a member of the New Haven Rowing Club.
To help congratulate Walsh, State Sen. Gayle Slossberg will make a presentation at an upcoming Rotary Club meeting.
Local businesses banded together to celebrate The Orange Times Volunteer of the Year by offering a wide array of gifts, ranging from dinners at area restaurants to magnetic vehicle signs.
For those wondering how they can help their communities, Walsh has some advice.
“I think they need to look at what their community has that others do not and focus there,” Walsh said. “And you’ve got to use your imagination to volunteer productively.”