Monday, February 19, 2024

The Return of the Ellens

After three years of doing the Ellen Awards and five years of not doing the Ellen Awards, the Hudson City Democratic Committee is bringing them back. Named for Ellen Thurston, the first Ellen Award was presented to Thurston in 2016, soon after she had retired as supervisor for the Third Ward (that is, the Third Ward before Fair & Equal changed the ward boundaries). She had previously served several terms as Third Ward alderman, been a long-time member of the Hudson Opera House Board of Directors, organized Hudson's Quadricentennial Celebration, orchestrated Winter Walk every year for close to two decades, and kept Hudson informed with her valued "Ellen's List."

Thurston's service to the community shaped the purpose of the award: to recognize individuals and institutions in Hudson that contribute to the welfare of the city and embody democratic values through their contributions to making Hudson a better place. In 2017, the Ellen Award was presented to Reverend Edward Cross, upon his retirement as supervisor for the Second Ward and in recognition of his long-time community service and social justice work. In 2018, the Ellen Award was presented to Dan and Mary Udell, who for years videotaped public meetings in Hudson to encourage participation in our democratic practice, as well as engaging in a myriad of other civic good deeds.

In 2024, the awards will be presented to two groups that contribute immensely to the life of Hudson: Columbia County Sanctuary Movement and the Badila family and their Diata Diata International Folklorique Theatre. Ellen Awards will also be presented to two recipients selected in 2020, before the pandemic put a stop to in-person gatherings: city clerk Tracy Delaney and Rolling Grocer 19. All four recipients exemplify the public spirit that contributes to making Hudson a vibrant place to live and work.

The Ellen Awards will be presented on Sunday, March 3, at 2:00 p.m., at Hudson Hall. Light refreshments will be served. Click here to donate to the event and be added to the attendance list.

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