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Kiwanis Club's new award honors local public servant

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Nominations are being sought for a new award created by the Kiwanis Club of Northern Columbus that will honor people who do good work in the club's service area of Clintonville, Beechwold and Worthington.

Unsung heroes rather than well-known leaders are the focus of the new Northern Kiwanis Community Support Award, said Shirley Palumbo, chairwoman of the committee that will oversee the bestowing of the inaugural honor in the fall.

Nominations will be accepted through Aug. 15 and the winner will be announced Sept. 12.

"We want to recognize individuals who are not the CEOs, but who work hard to serve their neighbors, both adults and children, and neighborhood agencies," Dr. Craig Slack, Northern Kiwanis president, said in a statement. "This award is a logical extension of the work of Kiwanis to improve the world one person at a time."

"We were having this conversation at Kiwanis about this community and what a strong community it was and how there were so many people doing such good work in the community," Palumbo said. "Out of that conversation evolved the notion that we really should be honoring these people. We began talking about what would that application look like, how would that process go.

"We're excited to start it."

Those offering suggestions for recipients of the Northern Kiwanis Community Support Award are asked to complete a 50-word essay describing the individual's impact on the community.

Nomination forms are available at the club's website, northernkiwanis.org.

Members of the committee in charge of the award will use a scoring system to select the eventual recipient, Palumbo said. One of the criteria, she added, is that the person has a direct impact on the service area and has direct contact with people who need help. The judging also will take into account some way in which the impact can be measured or quantified, she said.

"I would love to be overwhelmed with applications, because when you develop a scoring grid, a lot of samples of work help you to hone that and understand exactly what you're looking for," Palumbo said. "We're even talking about the possibility of doing this twice a year. We're not talking about a lot of money and we're certainly willing to do the work.

"We've timed it so that it isn't at a time we're doing a lot of other things. We want to do it at least once a year but might do it twice."

To honor the community award recipient, Palumbo said, the club will donate $50 to the agency or organization he or she supports.

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