Good Neighbor Award nominations, which now include youth category, open through Dec. 31
Since they moved to their East South Street neighborhood in Worthington about 15 years ago, Melissa and Jack Conrath always have taken it upon themselves to help out neighbors with a variety of tasks, such as retrieving garbage cans from the curb and using their chain saw to help trim trees.
In 2018, the couple were honored for their selfless efforts after several neighbors nominated them for the Worthington’s Good Neighbor Award, presented annually by the city since 1993 to “thank members of the community who promote cooperation and goodwill throughout their neighborhood,” according to worthington.org.
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“We’re humbled to have been recognized and to have received it,” said Melissa Conrath, an education professor at Ohio State University and a former superintendent of Worthington Schools.
The Conraths fit the profile of typical award winners, Worthington personnel director Lori Trego said.
“(The ideal Good Neighbor Award recipient) is someone who is willing to help their neighbors with whatever might be needed, from yard chores or gardening or taking your trash can back from the street," Trego said. "Over the years, common traits are people that are welcoming and generous and just friendly, helpful people to live nearby.”
Nominations for the 2020 Good Neighbor Award are open through Dec. 31.
In addition, for the first time, the city as added a youth category for individuals under the age of 18.
“Over the years, there have been high school-age folks that have occasionally been presented with the Good Neighbor Award,” Trego said. “Several times there have been years where there have been at least two recipients, including some younger folks, and the commission decided it would be appropriate to have two categories to recognize both young people in our community and others, as well.”
Last year's winners were Seth and Liam Keasel and Michelle and George Geissbuhler.
Good Neighbor Award nominations may be submitted online at worthington.org/328/Good-Neighbor-Award, emailed to email@example.com or mailed to the city at 6550 N. High St.
Worthington City Council had recognized the Conrath for their altruism with a resolution April 15, 2019.
Their highlighted deeds included helping neighbors find lost cats and checking on those who are ill or on vacation.
“Jack and Melissa Conrath are true partners in life and share a warm, welcoming and generous spirit, and through their many good deeds ... have set an example for all of us to follow,” the resolution said.
“We love the neighborhood, we love our neighbors and we (do these things) because we want to do it,” Melissa Conrath said. “There’s a quote that says, ‘For it is in giving that we receive.’ And we certainly do it just because we want to make somebody’s life a little bit easier and be able to help out, and to be recognized for that other than just a simple thank you and knowing that we helped out somebody was more than what we ever would have expected.”