Kathy & Dan Riggins (posthumously): Schroon Lake Citizens of 2016

Press Release from The Schroon Lake Area Chamber of Commerce:

"The Schroon Lake Area Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce that its Board of Directors has selected Kathy & Dan Riggins (posthumously) as the Schroon Lake Citizen(s) of the Year for 2016.

On Monday, August 24, 2015 the Town of Schroon unexpectedly lost an amazing friend, volunteer and leader. Daniel Owen Riggins, 66, passed away suddenly, while playing the sport (tennis) he loved with dear friends. The shock of this loss quickly rippled through the community as Dan and his wife Kathy have spent their retired days serving as volunteers with many organizations in the Schroon Lake region. Their selflessness and giving ways had touched so many lives.

Dan was born in Kingston, NY and grew up in Walkill, NY and Kathy was born and raised in Witherbee, NY. They graduated from high school and went on to attend SUNY Cortland where they met in 1967 and began to date.

In 1972 they married and began their lives as husband and wife, starting a family, and continuing their careers as teachers, going on to teach for 34 years. Kathy served as the Physical Education teacher at Galway Central School District and Dan was a middle school Science teacher at Mohonasen Central School District. In 1990, Dan left Mohonasen to take a position as Principle at the Charlton Heights Elementary in Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake, where he worked until his retirement in December 2003. Kathy retired from Galway Central School in June 2004.

Over the years, they loved spending time in the Schroon Lake Region, staying at the Schroon Lake Bed & Breakfast, hiking and playing on the beach with their children.

In 2001, planning for their retirement years, they purchased a piece of property on Skylark Lane close to the shores of Schroon Lake, and began traveling to Schroon every weekend, working diligently on their new home. The first few years they stayed in the garage till the home was complete.

In 2004, after Kathy retired, they moved to Schroon Lake permanently and quickly became ingrained in the community. Each and every day they would walk in to town, taking time to stop and visit with anyone that crossed their path. Always sharing a warm smile and taking time to get to know each and every community member whose path they crossed.

Both Dan and Kathy enjoyed life to its fullest, and made a dynamic duo. It was noted in one nomination that they were like a “duet in concert” and the nominee went on to say that in the case of Dan and Kathy, the old cliché “behind every great man, there is a great woman” rang true.

As a team they served the Schroon Lake Community in many capacities. Dan served as the Eucharist Minister and Kathy as the Lector at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church. Both teaching religious educational classes and serving on the churches bereavement committee.

Not only did they volunteer at their church, but they were both past members of the Schroon Lake Lions Club, volunteered with the Town of Schroon Beautification Committee, introduced Pickle Ball to Schroon, were members of the Friends of the Library, sat on the Board of Directors for the Schroon Lake Arts Council, volunteered with Meals on Wheels and served on the Old Tyme Christmas Committee together for many years.

Individually, Dan sat on the Town of Schroon Zoning Board, volunteered on the Schroon Lake Ambulance Squad, served as a coordinator for EMS Services for the Adirondack Distance Festival, was an officer with the Skylark Beach Association, and was very involved with the Schroon Lake Golf Course each summer.

Kathy has served as the co-chair for the Schroon Lake Libraries Home and Garden Tour and Wine & Cheese Tasting, served as a former officer with the Schroon Lake Library Board, and she continues to serve as a volunteer with the Adirondack Distance Festival, the Old Tyme Christmas Committee, and the Town of Schroon Lake Beautification Committee.

As a caring and loving couple, Dan and Kathy have not only served Schroon Lake, but they have also sponsored Mission of Hope, a spiritually-based humanitarian organization, committed to fostering hope and empowering relationships with the people of Nicaragua through sustainable programs in education, healthcare, community and ecological development. Dan also served as a volunteer on a trip to Nicaragua with Mission of Hope and loved to share his experience with others that wanted to participate in their own mission trip.

“After reading all the nominations for Dan and Kathy Riggins, Executive Director, Tammy Whitty-Brown stated that the famous saying “Be the change you wish to see in the world” by Mohammed Ghandi came to mind. Dan and Kathy Riggins have devoted their life to teaching children, volunteering and leading by example. Schroon Lake was blessed in 2001 when the Riggins chose our community to retire to, and serve as volunteers. Dan (posthumously) and Kathy are very deserving of this award and recognition and we are blessed to have Kathy continue her work as a volunteer in our community.”

The Chamber will host a dinner to honor Kathy & Dan as Citizen of the Year for 2016 at 6:00 PM on Tuesday, June 14, 2016. The event will take place at Word of Life Inn in Schroon Lake. Tickets to the dinner are available for $25 per person. For details, please contact the Schroon Lake Area Chamber of Commerce at (518) 532.7675 or email director@schroonlakechamber.org".