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The first lady is looking and Ketchikan is finding.
Each year, since Bella Hammond initiated the award during the tenure of her husband, Gov. Jay Hammond, Alaska’s first ladies have sought to honor the volunteers of Alaska. This year, that lovely tradition continues. Sandy Parnell has opened nominations for the First Lady’s Volunteer of the Year awards.
She asks that Alaskans “help recognize their fellow citizens who have shown extraordinary volunteer service and made a positive impact on their community by nominating them for the awards.”
To nominate someone, find the nomination form online at www.volunteerawards.alaska.gov
The nominee must have lengthy service to the community or state, or extraordinary personal commitment or provide a significant impact or benefit to the state or community — or any combination of those three criteria.
The form is delightfully simple: You provide the name and contact information for the nominee, and yourself. Then, write 300 to 500 words describing why the person should be singled out. The website says providing details will help the awards committee evaluate and choose those to be honored.
There’s no age limit for who can be honored, and nothing rules out any Alaskan.
In Ketchikan, finding nominees will be like shooting fish in a barrel:?One can scarcely walk down the street without bumping into someone who quietly (or not-so) does good, offering time and help as needed. Some people are always at the center of whatever needs doing; they are honored to be of help.
That is at the core of service, isn’t it? Ketchikan is blessed with so many people who understand they are the lucky ones, to be able to help their neighbors on this rock. In Ketchikan as in so many Alaska villages, we know that we all are in this together and that none of us can stand up on our own. Sometimes we need the help; sometimes we give the help.
Yet ... some people seem always on the giving end of that equation.
Ponder that, and narrow your list of nominees.
Nominations are due by 5 p.m. on March 1. If one fills out the form online, it’s a simple matter to click on “submit form” and be done. Nominations also can be mailed, emailed or hand delivered by the deadline. If mailing, send the nomination to:
Melissa M. Stepovich, chair
First Lady’s Volunteer of the Year Awards Committee
c/o Office of the Governor
550 W Seventh Ave., Suite 1700
Anchorage AK 99501
Email to firstname.lastname@example.org
The email address also is good if you need more information.
Ketchikan has so much more than its fair share of volunteers making our quality of life stellar. We honor them throughout the year, but wouldn’t it be wonderful to let the rest of the state in on their generosity?