BY KRISTI FISH | MIRROR REPORTER — With the 48th annual Hometown Hero Awards quickly approaching, the Maumee Chamber of Commerce is looking for nominations by Monday, January 30.
Maumee residents can submit nominations for one of four categories: Outstanding Citizen Award, River Business Award, Bridge Youth Leadership Award and Golden Apple Award.
After nearly five decades, many Maumee residents are familiar with what makes someone worthy of each award, said chamber executive director Kristin Meyer; however, the chamber staff knows there are plenty of people deserving of the awards who have not yet been nominated.
For its Outstanding Citizen, the Hometown Hero Awards committee is looking for an individual who continually strives to make Maumee a better place through their time, talent or other methods. An outstanding citizen, Meyer said, is someone who dedicates themselves to this community.
The River Business Award is presented to a company or organization that is making a noticeable impact on the Maumee community through volunteer efforts, philanthropic work, workforce development or other activities.
Nominees for the Bridge Youth Award are typically mentors, coaches and youth leaders who are making a difference in the lives of Maumee youths, said chamber assistant director Colleen Tankoos. She encouraged residents to think about individuals or organizations who go the extra step to help nurture children of all ages in Maumee.
As for the Golden Apple Award, individuals who make a difference in the education of Maumee children are the perfect candidates, Meyer said.
“The kids at the school system have always been really great at nominating, but if you have a younger child who has a teacher who is really making a difference, take some time with them to fill out the nomination,” Meyer encouraged.
The awards are meant to recognize the work of individuals and businesses in the community who are making a difference, so for the Golden Apple nominees, the chamber goes a step further to give them proper recognition, Meyer said.
“Every nomination for every teacher, even if they don’t win, is then sent to that teacher, so they can see and hear what the students think about them,” she said.
Once nominations are sent in by January 30, the committee will gather to decide the winners.
The committee is in part typically made up of former award winners who understand the significance of the awards. Other committee members include chamber members, city council members and others in the community.
It can be difficult for them to narrow down all of the nominees, though.
“Sometimes we get several nominations for an outstanding citizen, which is somebody who does great things for the community and might be philanthropic and goes above and beyond. Sometimes we’ll get nominations for somebody, though, that has also done something really heroic,” Meyer said.
In that case, the Hometown Hero Award is presented that year. It’s why it’s important for residents to nominate individuals and businesses who do vital work throughout the community, Meyer said.
The staff at the chamber and the committee are looking forward to seeing who is nominated in each category this year and are excited about the upcoming event, Tankoos said.
This year’s awards ceremony will see Mayor Rich Carr and Jenny Barlos return to host the Thursday, March 2 ceremony. Metamora State Bank has also returned as the presenting sponsor for the event.
Information on nominations, sponsorship opportunities and more is available on the website at maumeechamber.com/hometown-hero-awards/.