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Springfield's Big Night

Chamber recognizes John Bauer, Patricia Gauthier with citizenship awards.

The Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce wrapped up 2006 by presenting two area residents with citizenship awards at its annual dinner. John Bauer of Burke and Patricia Gauthier of Springfield received their awards at the Dec. 14 gala at the Springfield Hilton.

Bauer was recognized for helping to improve the quality of life for residents of the Greater Springfield area by volunteering with Fairfax County Police Department's Volunteers in Police Service program for four years. In that role, he chalked up between 50 and 60 hours of volunteer time each month with the West Springfield District Station. The Chamber presented its highest citizenship honor to Patricia Gauthier of Ecumenical Community Helping Others (ECHO). She received the 2006 Herbert C. Hunter Citizen of the Year award, which presented in memory of Hunter, a long-time resident and owner of the Hunter Motel located on Loisdale Road near Newington.

Since 1968, Gauthier has volunteered with ECHO, first as the volunteer in charge of the food pantry collection and distribution and, beginning in 1992, as the volunteer position of executive director.

Five days a week, Gauthier volunteers six hours a day, managing almost 400 volunteers, raising funds and serving as liaison for multiple charities.