Sure, champagne is nice.

But Dan Pullen isn't in it for the bubbly.

Pullen is this year's recipient of the Fred & Howard Award, given to the best ambassador of German Village.

The prize: a bottle of champagne in a decorative ice bucket.

He said he's humbled by the praise.

"As far as an award, this is very important," Pullen said, "but the relationships and friendships I've developed over the years mean a lot."

Pullen was presented with the award June 1 by Heidi Drake, president of the German Village Society Board of Trustees.

Drake said Pullen got his start volunteering as a golf-cart driver for the Haus und Garten Tour in 2001.

"After getting the cart and trailer wedged in a sewer lid, which meant all guests had to get out and help, he assumed this would be the first and last time he'd be volunteering for the German Village Society," Drake said.

"Hah. Instead, he was asked to serve as the transportation chairman," she said. "It takes way more than that to get out of volunteering around here."

Pullen and his wife, Sarah, have been living in the village for about 20 years.

His volunteer efforts extended to the American Red Cross of Central Ohio, baseball and soccer coach, and numerous positions with Ohio State University.

Pullen, 67, is retired after 30 years of service at American Electric Power and 13 years with the city of Columbus.

The Fred & Howard Award was created by the society in 1997. It is named after longtime partners Fred Holdridge and Howard Burns, who were the first to have received it.

The award honors those who best share the message and mission of the neighborhood and society with others beyond the historic district boundaries.

As for the champagne, "We're going to enjoy it," Pullen said.

gseman@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekGary