Doug & Garth make everyone feel welcome


By Jim Poole

The deep commitment Doug Plummer and Garth Roberts have for Sharon Springs impresses many around them.
Their devotion impresses so much, in fact, that some people aren't surprised they're the 2014 Times-Journal Star.
But their friends believe the honor's deserved.
"Everything they do is for the betterment of our community," said Patty Johnstone.
Ms. Johnstone and her husband, Chip, are Sharon Springs neighbors to Mr. Plummer and Mr. Roberts, and the Johnstones have known them for years.
The Stars' accomplishments, from opening the Rockville Café to restoring the American Hotel, are many. And the two men deserve credit for jumpstarting Sharon Springs' renewal years ago.
"On the revitalization of Sharon Springs, if they weren't the catalysts for it, they were a big part of it," Mr. Johnstone said.
"The people they attracted, the businesses that came in, came here because of the influence of Doug and Garth."
Richmondville Mayor Kevin Neary, the 1998 T-J Star, agreed. He's worked with Mr. Plummer, who's mayor of Sharon Springs.
"They reached out to other people to bring them there," Mayor Neary said. "Putting Sharon Springs back on the map is their doing."
But it's also the little things that matter. Maureen Lodes, a longtime friend and fellow business owner, noted that Mr. Plummer was spreading salt on the sidewalk before the village's Victorian Stroll earlier this month.
"He's the mayor. . .he doesn't have to do that," Ms. Lodes said. "They truly never stop working for Sharon Springs."
And much of what they do goes unseen. A local needy resident needed a pick-up truck; Mr. Plummer got up a collection to buy him one, Mr. Johnstone said.
Ms. Johnstone pointed to Mr. Roberts' Run 4 the Hills, a benefit run/walk that helped the Sharon Springs Fire Department Rescue Squad last spring. He's holding the run again this year.
"It's not only for our village, but for the whole county," Ms. Johnstone said. "It's all selflessness."
There's also the upbeat, positive attitude that lifts the entire village, she added.
"Nobody feels unwelcome in Sharon Springs," Ms. Johnstone said. "That's because of Doug and Garth."
The attitude and dedication is all part of their commitment to Sharon Springs, Mayor Neary added.
"They've invested financially and personally in Sharon Springs," he said. "It's a better place because of them. And it's not a passing thing with them."