Gina DeCampo wins 2017 A.C.E. Award

BELLOWS FALLS — Greater Falls Connections recently announced that Gina DeCampo of Bellows Falls as the recipient of the 2017 Active Community Engagement Award.

The award is the group's way to recognize inspired, positive action happening every day around the Bellows Falls area. “Recipients of this award are the unsung heroes within our community who foster positive change and are dedicated to creating safe, healthy, and fun options for youth, families, and the community at large,” according to a news release.

DeCampo, a volunteer firefighter with Saxtons River Fire Department and also a volunteer with Greater Falls Connections' Advanced Above The Influence youth group, was presented with the A.C.E award for being a strong role model and mentor for the youth of the community.

She has volunteered for the organization's coalition for several years. She helps facilitate weekly youth group meetings and has helped members learn more about youth mental health first aid to prevent substance abuse, suicide, and depression. She has been a key part of planning and running the annual Park-A-Palooza community block party in June.

Following the closure of the Bellows Falls Boys & Girls Club in June 2016, DeCampo began volunteering with the Friends For Change youth group, which has been creating a new club for area youth. Besides working directly with the youth members, she has spearheaded recruiting additional volunteers for the club.

In accepting the award, DeCampo said, “If I could tell you only one thing, it would be if you walk by someone on the street who may be struggling, say hello and give them your smile. It will make a huge difference.”

DeCampo was nominated by both Emma Wetherby and Hailee Galandak-Cochran. According to Galandak-Cochran, “Gina is committed to building a better community and is passionate about keeping our youth safe. She cares deeply about connecting with young people who need support. She goes above and beyond to create a safe place for the most vulnerable in our community.”

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