Summer in German Village is our most-frenetic time.
There are numerous events, gardens to tend, sidewalks to fix -- and for the German Village Society these things take hundreds of volunteers.
So, summer is also the time we recognize folks who go above and beyond.
These are people who have served over time, with distinction, or filled a particularly special role.
The following awards were given as part of Haus und Garten Tour weekend -- our most mission-centric event of the year.
Frank Fetch Award
The Frank Fetch Award was the brainchild of Fred Holdridge and Howard Burns in 1984.
They said they believed it was necessary to recognize an individual for outstanding service to the German Village community.
Appropriately, Frank Fetch was the first recipient of the award, which was quite timely, as he passed away six months later.
The roster of recipients is a register of leadership, inspiration and beloved friends.
This year's winner is Dr. Norm Burns. He's been volunteering as a group-tour guide and in the Visitors Center for 25 years, going back to the AmeriFlora tours in 1992.
Everyone loves a Doc Burns tour and he especially connects with fellow Buckeyes.
A dentist by training, Dr. Burns taught at OSU's dental school before retiring to his Lazelle Street home. He and his wife, Donna, have since moved to First Community Village, but Norm continues to hold down the Wednesday afternoon shift in the Visitors Center every week with Dorothy Hughes.
And he continues to give about 10 tours a year to visitors who want to learn more about German Village.
Village Valuable Award
The Village Valuable Award is presented to someone who always seems to be there, right when the society needs them, to lend a special skill, solve a problem or just do some hard work.
These are the "can-do" people that we know will always say "yes" when asked to help, who give of their time and talent freely, and who always wear a smile.
Craig Seeds, who works for the Columbus Recreation and Parks Department, was honored this year.
Craig oversees a comprehensive citywide program ranging from lawn mowing to snow removal.
But according to Katharine Moore, who has worked with the recreation and parks department for 19 years and continues to integrate German Village Society needs with the department as chairwoman of the Friends of Schiller organization, said Craig goes way above the baseline job description.
Big jobs throughout the city with limited resources, always shifting priorities and a tight staff are what Craig faces every day.
And yet, Craig rarely misses a society parks and public services and community events meeting.
That's where a couple dozen German Village collaborators sit down each month to pave the path to varied successes.
And he's instantly responsive, endlessly pleasant and a real do-gooder for German Village.
Honorary tour chairmen
Wayne and Willa Owens are as synonymous with fun in German Village as cocktails on the patio or a picnic in the park.
They invented the Village Singers 16 years ago with fun in mind.
The Village Singers are an example of the society's pillar of "quality of life" as they gather and celebrate week-by-week to enhance our community by creating opportunities to engage in the arts.
But you won't stumble across a German Village event where WOWO (as their license plates say) aren not volunteering in some capacity.
They created the Pub Crawl to support the singers. It might be inside a house at Haus und Garten Tour, riding the beer golf cart at Art Crawl, or slinging drinks at Tea 43206,but you will find WOWO there.
German Village Society Executive Director Shiloh Todorov submitted the Village Notebook column.