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Unity House of Cayuga County celebrates winners of annual awards

The Unity House of Cayuga County has recently announced the recipients of its esteemed Fred Atkins Community Service and Open Arms awards. Joe Goodsell, an Auburn native, has been honored with the 14th Fred Atkins Community Service Award for his dedicated volunteer work at Matthew House since 2013, where he has utilized his nursing skills to support end-of-life care. Goodsell, who retired in 2011, has also contributed his time and efforts to St. Mary’s Church and Meals on Wheels, demonstrating a commitment to serving his community with positivity and kindness.

The award, named in memory of the late Fred Atkins, a revered volunteer in Cayuga County, celebrates individuals who embody Atkins’ spirit of generosity and high moral standards. Winners receive $500 and an additional $500 to donate to a local nonprofit of their choice, further extending their impact within the community.

Elaine Meyers from Aurora has been recognized with the 13th Open Arms Award for her volunteerism within Unity House’s PROsperity mental health program, where she shares her skills in creative writing, journaling, and book club facilitation. Meyers’ involvement extends to various community projects, highlighting her dedication to supporting individuals with disabilities and promoting inclusivity. The awards will be presented at Unity House’s annual dinner, a testament to the extraordinary contributions of Goodsell and Meyers to Cayuga County’s community well-being.