KUDOS FROM ERIE COUNTY — Erie County Senior of the Year Clint Salmon (center) is pictured with, from left: Erie County Commissioner of Senior Services Randy Hoak, Sardinia Supervisor Mary Hannon, Jeanne Salmon and Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz.
CHAFFEE — Clint Salmon, 87, of Chaffee, was selected as the 2013 Erie County senior of the year.
Salmon was awarded with this distinction on May 6, by a committee of the Erie County Department of Senior Services Advisory Board.
Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz and Commissioner of Senior Services Randy Hoak were present, at the ceremony.
The committee announced that this award is annually presented to an individual whose “volunteer contributions to the community have had a significant impact on the quality of life, for a large number of Erie County residents.”
Hoak said, “Without dedicated volunteers like Mr. Salmon, we simply could not maintain the services needed, by the older adults in Erie County. Clint’s dedication and enthusiasm for helping his community are what make Erie County a great place to live.”
Salmon was notified about his designation, two days after he returned from Florida, where he and his wife vacationed, for two weeks. “It’s been quite the week, to say the least,” he said. “I knew absolutely nothing about the award, until I received the call from the senior services board. It was a lot to take in, in a very short period of time. I’m still trying to process it all and make sense of what’s happened, because it’s such a special honor.”
Sardinia Town Supervisor Mary Hannon and Salmon’s wife Jeanne constructed the application that was sent in to the senior services board.
Salmon grew up in Wayne County, between Rochester and Syracuse. He joined the Marine Corps out of high school and worked toward becoming a teacher, after serving. “That didn’t exactly transpire, right away,” he said. “I took the state police job, thinking it would be a nice summer job. Little did I know, it would last over 20 years. They told me to never unpack my suitcase, because, in those days, you were always on the move.”
Salmon served as a New York state trooper from 1948 – 1969. Since his retirement in 1969, the Chaffee resident has volunteered with several different community services.
Salmon served with the Chaffee-Sardinia Kiwanis Club, for 50 years. He was a member of American Legion Post No. 1248, for 40 years and is a lifetime member of Veterans of Foreign Wars Post No. 374.
Salmon has been the president of the town of Sardinia senior citizens organization, for the past 10 years. He has also served on the Rural Transit Service Advisory Board since 1997 and volunteered, as a driver for the service, for more than 15 years.
For the last 13 years, Salmon has been dedicating most of his time to the Southtowns Meals on Wheels program in Sardinia. Salmon has delivered meals, made contacts, handled paperwork and assisted with the program’s expansion.
“My main thing now is the Meals on Wheels program,” Salmon said. “It’s a great program. It allows for so many ways to help others, in the surrounding communities. I really think we’ve given a lot back to the community, over the years, with the Meals on Wheels.”
Salmon and his wife Jeanne have been married for 53 years. The two have resided in the town of Chaffee for their entire marriage.
Salmon said that he enjoys helping other people and has no regrets. “I’ve always enjoyed making other people happy, by lending a helping hand,” he said. “Whether it was in the Marines or as a trooper, I was always assisting others. When you are constantly helping others, it becomes habitual and almost second nature. I know at some point, I’ll have to put my feet up, but for now, I’ll continue to do what I can.”