Rep. Madden surprises Sam Koohy
As manager of the Stop & Shop in Vineyard Haven, Sam Koohy deals with schedules, maintenance, orders, and most especially people. It is in the last category that he excels. The Oak Bluffs resident seems to have found his special talent in his ability to be sensitive to people's needs and compassionate about their issues.
This past Saturday, much to his surprise, Mr. Koohy, was presented an award from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts for his outstanding community service to the town of Vineyard Haven. The award was awarded by State Representative Tim Madden and signed by the Speaker of the House.
Describing Mr. Koohy, Tisbury selectman Jeff Kristal, says, "He's always done a lot for the community here in Vineyard Haven since he's been the store manager of Stop & Shop. Sam was a volunteer captain with the Edgartown Fire Department, and during the fire at Bunch of Grapes he was working at Stop & Shop. He went into the store and took cases of water and made sandwiches for all the firefighters, the police, the DPW (Department of Public Works) workers - anybody that was there working at the scene. Sam just provided anything that he could. And that was just one of the things. Over the years we seem to have taken advantage of Sam and his generosity again and again."
Through his company, Mr. Koohy also donates platters of food to the bereaved, gives generously to non-profits and supports Last Night First Day and the Memorial Day Picnic.
Still, Saturday's recognition came as a complete surprise.
"When Tim actually came to present the award, I was shocked. It was very much of a surprise," Mr. Koohy says. Admitting he was probably the second person at the site during last year's Bunch of Grapes fire, he continues, "I was not expecting it at all. It felt really great - absolutely wonderful. It made me feel pretty proud of how the town views what I do, because sometimes I don't see it. It's simply my way of reaching out. Whether it's a crisis that's happening, or a benefit, or the mural that's on the side of the building."
Mr. Koohy adds, "I was pretty honored to receive the award from Tim Madden on the Fourth of July, and to do it right there on Main Street at the Bunch of Grapes during their grand opening. It was pretty impressive."