Peg Sanford Saugatuck's Citizen Of The Year
Margaret (Peg) Sanford, the recipient for City of Saugatuck’s 2013 Citizen of Year, is deemed by many to authentically embody the spirit of community.
Saugatuck Mayor Bill Hess made the announcement for this award during Monday night’s Saugatuck City Council meeting.
Indeed, it is difficult to name a field or a sector in her community that Sanford has not had an influence on.
She is ubiquitous, from the local school where she taught for 25 years to government where she had the distinction of serving as the city’s first female mayor, and from her work with the local music, art and historical scenes to her vast array of community volunteerism, giving of her time and skills to help the city, those in need and those visiting the town.
A reception to honor Sanford will be held on Wednesday, April 17 at the Saugatuck Center for the Arts.
Sanford and her husband came to Saugatuck in 1974. They raised two children, John and Lori. During her 25-year career at Saugatuck Public Schools, she worked as the K-12 library media specialist.
“I had the absolute best job in the world working with kids, books, and information!” she said.
The Citizen of the Year Award is named after former Saugatuck Mayor Tony Vettori, responsible for creating the award, with the first one awarded in 2005.
About a dozen locals were nominated for the award this year. The award was created to honor a resident of the city that has demonstrated outstanding community service and exceptional achievement in public service, sports, arts, music, science or an act of heroism.
A sense of fostering community participation and involvement are also qualities that are sought.
Following her retirement from the local school district in 1999, Sanford started in a new path of service for her community and government, being instrumental in the city’s move from a village to cityhood.
She served as a member of the Saugatuck City Council from 1984 to 1990 and again as appointee in 1995-1996. She served as mayor of the city from 1985-1987.
Among other community organizations she has served, includes the Community Church of Douglas, the Historical Society, Saugatuck Chamber Music Festival, Allegan County Community Foundation, Saugatuck Area Business Association, the Saugatuck Center for the Arts, and the Saugatuck Information Booth.