3 women awarded for contributions to Middletown community

Shirley Butts receives Armbruster Memorial Award from his family.

MIDDLETOWN — Three Middletown women were recognized during Tuesday’s City Council meeting for their diverse contributions to the Middletown community.

Shirley Butts received the Armbruster Memorial Award, Verlena Stewart was honored for winning the Drum Major Award during the Martin Luther King weekend and Mayor Elizabeth Slamka received the Community Service Award from the Middletown Ministerial Alliance.

Butts received the award named in honor of Armbruster, who served four years as Middletown’s Ward 1 representative and a vice-mayor during 2008-2009. He served on the City’s Park Board, Tree Commission, Golf Course Commission, Keep Middletown Beautiful Board and Public Safety Subcommittee.

Butts was recognized for following in the footsteps of Armbruster with her passion for community service, according to the award.

She has served the city in numerous ways and continues to make the “community a better, more beautiful place to live, work and raise a family,” the award read.

She picks up litter all over the city and encourages others to do so. She serves on the Keep Middletown Beautiful Committee and plants and maintains the flowers at Gardner Park. She volunteers with Keep Middletown Beautiful to go into pre-schools to teach children about littering and recycling.

She maintains the landscaping at her church and visits the shut-ins at nursing homes. Butts has “shown kindness and consideration for our community and her legacy of generosity and dedicated service will stand as a hallmark for others to emulate,” according to the award.

Butts called the Armbruster Award “quite an honor” and she promised to continue serving the community “as long as I can.”

Stewart, executive director of Community Building Institute and former Middletown school board member, said she was “very humbled and totally surprised” to win the award during MLK weekend.

Pastor Scotty Robertson from First Baptist Church said Stewart was selected due to her tireless work improving the lives of Middletown children and families.

Slamka appeared to be equally surprised by the award she received from the alliance.

“All of that emotion came out of my eyeballs,” she said.

Robertson applauded Slamka, who was elected mayor in November, for her work assisting the unhoused population in the community and for “listening to the voices” of all her constituents in Middletown.

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