FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — Local residents, city officials and county officials gathered at Citizens Square Monday morning to celebrate a woman who has dedicated decades of community service to Fort Wayne.

The Allen County Board of Commissioners presented Carolyn De Voe with the 2023 Linda & Jerry Vandeveer Impact Award for her efforts to keep semitrucks out of residential areas that were being harmed and her efforts to keep rental properties in good shape to keep residents safe and housing values up.

“Some of the renters’ lives were actually in danger because of the difficult situations: lack of repairs, lack of care and so on,” De Voe said.

In the 1990s, De Voe said she worked with others to put pressure on city leaders for years before change finally happened in 1999.

Vandeveer Impact Award recipient Carolyn De Voe poses with her plaque after the award ceremony Monday, Sept. 25, 2023.

Although De Voe is proud of the work she has done in the community, she said she still hopes to see many improvements in the future, including providing better opportunities for future generations.

“This is a very important little generation coming up, and the parents need help,” De Voe said. “We’ve got to start taking a good look at who we are, what’s going on [and] how can we help.”

De Voe still plays an active role in the community as a member of the Safe Housing & Building Oversight Committee and the Swap Advisory Board.

Established by the Allen County Board of Commissioners in 2017, the Vandeveer Impact Award honors people who live in Allen County and have lived a life of service to the community outside of their profession.