When Kevin Chenevert bought a house in 2003, the Heights was the neighborhood where he knew he wanted to live. It was only natural that he would begin volunteering with the Houston Heights Association (HHA) as a way to give back to the community.
“I felt it was time to step up to the plate,” Chenevert said.
He started volunteering six years ago at events, then two years later he started to serve on the board of directors. In 2019, Chenervert served as president and is now about to start another three-year term on the board of the association.
Though Chenervert said the role of president calls for a lot of selfless work, he never expected to be presented with the Citizen of the Year award as part of the HHA’s 2019 Volunteer Appreciation Awards.
“It was pretty weird. I just thought I was doing my job. It was a real honor. I wasn’t’ expecting it at all,” Chenervert said. “It’s nice to be recognized.”
Chenevert said the Heights is special in the way it allows you to really give back and get involved with your community.
“I’m just a person who wanted to make my neighborhood a little better,” Chenevert said.
Usually the volunteer appreciation awards are given at a dinner, earlier in the year, but due to the pandemic it was cancelled. Instead the association recently announced the 10 volunteer honorees and 2019 Community Improvement Awards via newsletter and social media.
Sharon Dearman with the HHA said they chose to honor these volunteers because almost everything the association does is done by volunteers.
“We count on our neighbors to put on events to bring our neighbors together,” Dearman said. “We really are a small town in a big city.”
In addition to the Citizen of the Year awards, nine other volunteer awards were handed out.
Corporate Citizen of the Year went to Eureka Heights Brew Co. Evan Camp was specifically recognized for ensuring Eureka Heights’ beers were at every event HHA held last year.
The Marcela Perry Award, given to a Heights’ resident who is considered to be a key volunteer and contributor to events and activities, was presented to Rich Anhorn.
The President’s Award, presented by Chenevert, went to Keith Crane, who was the VP of finance. Melvalene Cohen, a charter member of the HHA, was presented with the Pioneer Award. The Rising Star award was given to JoAnn Alanis and Jason Starr.
Donna Bennett was presented with the Legacy Award, which is a new award that was created as a way to recognize someone who has already received existing awards but continue to give their time to the neighborhood.
The Tireless Champion Award was present to Linda Eyles and the Spirit of the Heights went to Andrea Hellyer.
The HHA improvement awards are given to recognize recent constructions and renovation, done in the years 2017-19, that improved the community.
The Residential New Construction Award was presented to Jim and Veronica Harrison for their home on Arlington Street because it aligns with the street’s existing historic bungalows. The Residential Renovation Award was presented to Brandon and Keleigh Krueger for their home on Cortlandt Street for renovating their 100-year-old house back to its former glory.
The Commercial New Construction Award was given to Braun Enterprises for the Heights Waterworks development and the Commercial Renovation Award went to Radom Capitol for the Lowell Street Market development.