This is the seventh and last profile of the 2014 Chamber of Commerce Award winners. The awards will be presented at a dinner at the Clarion Hotel tonight.
Thousands of senior citizens in Genesee County have gratefully enjoyed nutritious food prepared and delivered to their door because Margaret "Peggy" Lamb was key in launching Meals on Wheels here in 1974. Showcasing local farms beginning in 1989 with the annual Decision Makers' Agricultural Tour, underscoring the sector's economic impact, was her brainchild.
Although these two accomplishments are among her proudest achievements, she has helped out on many fronts.
Named one of two Geneseeans of the Year for 2014 by the Chamber of Commerce, she is all about serving the community. (The other Geneseean of the Year 2014 is William "Bill" Schutt.)
Her record of volunteerism spans 46 years, and the beneficiaries include: the United Memorial Medical Center Foundation; the YWCA Board of Directors; Oakfield Methodist Church, where she is trustee and has served in several leadership roles over the years; CASA for Children (Court Appointed Special Advocates); the Genesee Symphony Orchestra Board; the Muriel H. Marshall Fund Planning and Advisory Team; the Chamber of Commerce; Oakfield Betterment Committee; and the recently formed Richmond Memorial Library Foundation.
As the saying goes, "If want something done, ask a busy person." She stays active and gets things done.
And those who know her well, like Elba resident Lucine Kauffman, who nominated her, not only vouch for that, they also appreciate her honesty, wit, generosity, intellectual curiosity and just plain hard work.
Peggy and her husband, Gordon, live in Oakfield and have three grown sons, Craig, a veterinarian, and Jonathan and Matthew, who work in the family business -- Lamb Farms. It operates in three locations, mostly as a dairy farm, but they grow some vegetables, too. They have more than 100 employees.
She knew nothing about farming when she married in 1968, two years after earning a degree in Christian education at Keuka College. She grew up in Hamburg and her dad worked for a state utility company -- 8 to 5 -- and was "always home on weekends."
Not so with farming. The long hours were "a shock" she says, requiring a great adjustment. She, obviously, managed to balance things -- her duties on the farm, including being the bookkeeper, raising the boys, and giving her time and talent to worthy causes.
She keeps on giving.
As a court advocate for children with CASA, for example, she's had to learn the intricacies of the legal system and the mix of resources that are available or required to handle the caseload and assist families.
"It was a real eye-opener," Peggy said. "It's not for the weak of heart. I don't think the average person in Genesee County realizes all what happens. There's a whole group of people with needs -- that we had no idea there were so many of them or how extensive their needs were."
But helping them has been rewarding, she said.
"I'm working very one-on-one with the children and learning all about their backgrounds so I can give my best advice to the judge on what I think should happen to these children."
With age has come the realization that she can't volunteer to the degree that she once did.
"I feel I'm glad to help when I can," she said. "I'm glad to be doing what I'm doing now."