Northwest News

Northwest Civic Association

No nominations means no 2014 Henderson Award


Last month's annual meeting of the Northwest Civic Association was a full evening, what with a panel discussion featuring the chief of police, head of Recreation and Parks and the top zoning official.

That's not to mention the election of trustees, comments from Centennial High School students who served on the board this past year and a review of the organization's activities over the previous 12 months.

Conspicuous by its absence, however, was the yearly presentation of the Anna Mildred Henderson Award for Community Service, honoring a volunteer who exemplifies the spirit of the woman who helped launch the Northwest Civic Association in 1967.

There's a simple explanation for the omission.

"We received no nominations," NWCA President John Ehlers conceded last week.

That was, he admitted, somewhat disappointing.

"It's one of the highlights of our annual meeting and certainly something that we look forward to next year," Ehlers said.

He added he hopes the lack of nominations for the award is an aberration, not a trend.

"It surprised me," Ehlers said.

"It was something that each year when we put the notice out to the membership we normally get anywhere from three to six nominations.

"This year I thought maybe it's a sign of the times.

"I don't think so. Rather than try to do things a different way, we'll just award it next year."

The Anna Mildred Henderson Award, according to the NWCA website, is intended to honor and "individual or organization in Franklin County who has provided outstanding volunteer service that improves local neighborhoods."

"This award is a memorial to Anna Henderson, a founder of NWCA in 1967," the site states.

"The Henderson family farmed the land around their home, located at the northwest corner where Henderson Road and Kenny Road intersect, for many decades before the land was incorporated into Columbus.

"Anna Henderson recognized that, as Columbus expanded, a citizen organization like NWCA should influence development. In many ways, she championed grassroots citizen activism and improved local neighborhoods.

"Past recipients of the award come from all areas of Franklin County. Some were affiliated with a civic association, an area commission, or a volunteer agency, while others quietly helped their neighbors without public recognition or fanfare."

The 2013 recipient was Carol Ann Baker of Upper Arlington, who heads up a program to feed the homeless at First Community Church.

Other recent past recipients include longtime local Boy Scout leader Tom Zeak and Jennifer Adair, daughter of a former NWCA trustee who founded the Maize Road Civic Association after moving out of the area.