George received the honor in a joint surprise presentation by members of the Freistatt Village Board of Trustees, the Freistatt Community Development Corporation and the Freistatt Housing Authority.
Recognition came for George's efforts to establish a crosswalk that would improve travel for residents of Freistatt senior housing to the post office across Highway H. George became keenly aware of the situation because of his own poor health, which confines him to a wheelchair.
George researched the matter with the Missouri Department of Transportation and presented a plan to the village board in February 2009. The project was adopted and subsequently completed last August. Signage is still scheduled to be placed.
"On behalf of the Board of Trustees for the Village of Freistatt and the Freistatt Housing Authority," said Freistatt Mayor Mike Ortwein, "I would like to present you with this plaque as the recipient of the 2009 Community Service Award. We appreciate people like you who strive to make our community safe and better for all."
The award read: "2009 Freistatt Community Service Award presented to Chester George for outstanding community service identifying the need for a crosswalk across H Highway and providing direction that led to its completion.
Your thoughtful endeavors helped to make our Freistatt community a safer place to live."
City Clerk Deborah Schoen said the crosswalk was only one of a number of contributions George has made to the community, including planting roses in front of the Freistatt Community Building.
Schoen read a proclamation from the Freistatt Village Board for the occasion:
"In recognition of service to his community, Chester George is hereby commended for his superior efforts in helping the Freistatt Senior Citizens and the Freistatt community as a whole.
"Chester George recognized a need, envisioned a way to improve travel and safety in Freistatt, developed a plan and presented it to the Freistatt Village Board of Trustees. Recognizing the value of Chester George's proposal, the village board acted swiftly to create a crosswalk between the Freistatt Post Office and the Freistatt senior housing complex that will improve safety for postal customers, school children and pedestrians for years to come.
"The Freistatt Housing Authority and the Village of Freistatt commend Chester George for his active citizenship and concern, providing a stellar example of how an individual can take action and improve his community."
George was clearly surprised by the recognition.
"We needed that crosswalk, so I thank you for the efforts made by the board in helping us get one," George said.
Jeannie Stoltz, manager of the Freistatt Housing Authority, commended the three organizations for collaborating on the honor and recognizing one of the senior housing residents as the first recipient.