Thirteen people were recognized Jan. 26 during the Whitehall Education Foundation's annual Honors Celebration dinner, held at the Jefferson Country Club in Blacklick.

The event is a fundraiser for the foundation and recognizes school district students and staff, alumni and residents of Whitehall for "making a difference" in the classroom and the community, said Ty Debevoise, director of communications and marketing for Whitehall schools.

This year's honorees are Whitehall-Yearling High School students Millennium Manna and Harouna Ndongo; district staff members Rod Lightfoot, Katie Quincel, Anna Shultz and Alisha Wilson; Whitehall alumni Van Gregg, Julie Lynch and Dan Miller; and residents Richard Duarte Brown, Joanna Heck, Lenora Miller and Mark Showalter.

"Every year the Whitehall Education Foundation is faced with the difficult task of selecting (honorees)," said Superintendent Brian Hamler, adding the nominees are chosen through an informal process.

"The honorees that the board voted to recognize this year are deserving for the work they have done in their community and in the lives they have touched," Hamler said.

Proceeds from this year's Honors Celebration will support the This Seat is Taken campaign, part of the district's auditorium renovation project.

The fundraiser supports an initiative to replace 60-year-old seats in Whitehall-Yearling's auditorium -- the only original section of the school remaining after it was rebuilt in 2013.