As we work our way into 2014, it never hurts to look back and reflect on the year that's passed.
The city is happy to support the "Bears to Beijing" trip -- if you're interested in donating, visit the schools' website.
Mayor Don Leach, Vice Mayor Debbie Johnson and I reflected on 2013 and looked ahead at the next 100 years, with the help of Superintendent Paul Imhoff.
Lastly, we presented the 2013 Community Awards:
• Chuck Nutter of Nutter Hardware and Handyman Services won Business of the Year. Upon reading the nomination forms, it's not hard to see why.
Two main reasons emerged: During the extended power outage two years ago, Nutter Hardware remained open for business, operating with cash sales, handwritten notes and loaning out items. Likewise, Nutter Handyman Services assisted with volunteer labor during the construction of the Barrington Welcome Playground.
Chuck Nutter practices what he preaches -- customer service and doing the right thing.
• This year's Community Enrichment award went to the Barrington Welcome Playground executive committee and the Leadership UA Class of 2013.
Funding the $150,000 needed through donations and securing volunteer labor to handle the installation seemed like an insurmountable task, but the executive committee was up to it. With the help of the Leadership UA Class of 2013, a schedule and volunteer drive were organized.
• Community Safety went to our very own police officer Heather Galli and Chief Brian Quinn. Nominated four times this year, they were clearly deserving of this award.
Both go above and beyond the norm.
• Our Super Senior this year is Estelle Scott. Estelle is an incredibly active volunteer. She currently serves on the UA Commission on Aging Board, the UA Citizens Police Academy Alumni, Ohio Senior Health Insurance Information Program, the UA Friends of the Library, the Senior Advisory Council and on Syntero/Northwest Counseling's Older Adult Program.
Estelle is not just a representative of all these organizations, she rolls up her sleeves and helps make things happen.
• Our Youth Award went to Bridget Corna. Bridget has been an outstanding mentor to students at Barrington and Tremont elementary schools through the TriVillage Mentor League.
Her dedication to the program and to the children she mentors is evident. She has served as a Bear Guide, Link Crew member and peer collaborator. She also participated in the Leadership UA Youth Program.
• This year, we added a new category with the help of the UA Rotary. The Rotary Club of Upper Arlington Volunteerism Award includes $500 given to the recipient's charitable organization.
We received many worthy nominations, but this year's winner was Katie Ryan. Katie initiated what is now a popular UA holiday tradition -- Winter Festival at the Mallway. She also was president of the Barrington PTO and initiated the Barrington Welcome Playground. She stayed with the project for three years until its completion.
Katie has been active in many groups, including the Strategic Plan Task Force for UA schools.
Theodore J. Staton is Upper Arlington's city manager.