Apropos of the award’s namesake, the Parmenter Board of Trustees bestowed the 2020 Grace Johnson Volunteer Appreciation Award to Grace Chen, a Camp Casco volunteer. In 2015, Grace first volunteered as a camp counselor at Camp Casco, where she immediately brought limitless energy and enthusiasm to enriching the lives of children who were enduring or had battled cancer. She made an indelible impression that first summer and went on to play an integral role on the year-round Camp Casco team, writing grants and assisting the organization in any way possible.
Since then, Grace has volunteered at seven camp sessions and assumed a leadership position, planning and executing all camp activities, sitting on the Board, and helping to run all 2020 camps. When COVID-19 hit,
Grace was instrumental in converting the camp to a virtual setting, safely supporting families who were simultaneously facing the struggles of the pandemic and cancer. Amazingly, Grace tackled all her responsibilities at Camp Casco while completing her Ph.D. in Biology at MIT and working as a Research Scientist at a pharmaceutical company.
In 2005, Parmenter established the Grace Johnson Volunteer Appreciation Award in recognition of Wayland resident Grace Johnson for her hands-on work as a committed community volunteer and board member at numerous charitable organizations. Grace Chen is truly a worthy recipient of this honor.