As seen in the Oct 27, 2022 edition of the Valley Breeze by BELLA PELLETIERE Valley Breeze Staff Writer

WOONSOCKET – Every year, the Vocational Service Award is presented to an individual, business, or a member of the Woonsocket Rotary who exemplifies outstanding commitment to his or her business and profession over a significant number of years, leaving a lasting improvement on the community they have served.

Jeff Studley, who has worked as store manager for Lowe’s in North Smithfield for 16 years, was described through his nomination as being the embodiment of the qualities that make up the vocational service award during a recognition ceremony last Wednesday, October 19.

Studley, according to past-president of the Rotary Club Nicole Brien, has always been able to provide materials at a low cost while she and volunteers have focused on service projects such as renovating elementary schools and giving centers in Woonsocket. As the Rotary restored Globe Elementary School, Studley also offered up employees to help with the removal of flooring, painting of the walls, and covering the cost of materials and labor by assigning employees to build new bookcases.

“Every time I have contacted Jeff, he was willing to provide materials at cost to ensure we stay within our budget to complete our projects,” said Brien. Studley has also donated items for Autumnfest, as well as provided products to teach children how to build a car during the Touch-A-Truck event.

They share a common goal of improving the community they live in and serve, said Brien.

I think it’s really humbling. If it wasn’t for the Rotarians coming up with projects that need to be addressed, I wouldn’t even be considered for this,” Studley told The Breeze. Studley recently moved to a Lowe’s in Brockton, MA.

Wally Rathbun and Dominique Doiron, of St. Ann Arts and Cultural Center, were also nominated, as there were a total of three recipients for this year’s award. Rathbun serves as the director, and has for many years, while Doiron serves as executive director.

“Without the help, motivation, constant support, and dedication of the volunteers, these two awards would have never been accomplished without all of them. The awards belong to everyone of you and will remain at St Ann’s,” said Rathbun. He added that on behalf of him and Doiron, he’d like to thank the Rotary Club for the award and again thanked the volunteers for everything they do, saying, “words couldn’t even begin to explain our gratitude.”

“Both men volunteer countless hours at the center, educating the public on the frescoes of St. Ann’s Church, providing tours of the building, and holding numerous concerts and events, said Paul Bourget, who serves as chairperson of the Woonsocket school board.

He added that Rathbun and Doiron have put Woonsocket on the map for Rhode Island tourists, saying all the money received by the center is used for upkeep and maintenance with no salary to these “incredible volunteers.”

“Their dedication to the community is immeasurable,” said Bourget.