Suzette Reed presents Matt Cerney with a certificate designating him Citizen of the Year. Photo submitted

Indian Valley names Community Member of the Year 2020

By Meg Upton

A half hour before the Indian Valley Recreation and Parks District board meeting Jan. 20 at the Indian Valley Community Center, the person responsible for keeping the Community Center up and running was acknowledged for his hard work.

Matt Cerney was named Community Member of the Year by the Indian Valley Chamber of Commerce. Usually the Chamber gives the award at the Year End Mixer in December, but COVID-19 canceled the annual holiday event.

IVRPD Board members and friends came by the center to congratulate Cerney and watch Vice Chair Suzette Reed give him his certificate.

“I am humbled and that was enough for me,” said Cerney.

Cerney spent much of 2020 mobilizing community members to save the center. The COVID-19 shutdown was exceptionally hard on venues like the center that rely on public events for income. The center was in danger of not being able to make its insurance payments. Cerney rallied community members and spearheaded fundraisers which were successful in keeping the center afloat while closed.

Every year community members can vote for the person in the valley who most exemplifies community service that year. Nomination ballots are available at Chamber member businesses.

Cerney was surprised and only knew of his award on the morning of Jan. 20.