WILMINGTON — Community members of all areas, backgrounds, and ages received recognition for their contributions to Clinton County on Wednesday night.
The C4 Awards Ceremony, presented by the Wilmington-Clinton County Chamber of Commerce and the Clinton County Convention & Visitors Bureau, was held at the Murphy Theatre.
A total of 23 individuals and groups received an award after being nominated in one (or more) of seven categories: business, citizen, education, healthcare, non-profit, youth, and the newest category, government/public service. The evening entertainment featured “The Mentalist,” Brent Webb.
Among the four recipients of the Citizen Award was Pauline Taylor, who was nominated multiple times for her work in picking up litter on Kelly Drive, Jenny Lane, Prairie Road, and Lowe’s Drive.
“I started walking in the mornings and I could see coffee cups, paper trash bags, McDonald’s bags, and I thought why don’t people just pick up their trash and take it home,” said Taylor during her acceptance speech.
She then decided to walk down the streets and pick up the trash with a bag she carried. When the bag started to become heavy, she bought a little cart at the Corn Festival which now allows her to pick up more.
“I get the benefit of the exercise. So I can eat my chocolate and watch my soap opera, and the city looks a lot better. So I’m keeping my part of the country a little bit better and a little brighter,” said Taylor.
Other recipients of the Citizen Award included 99-year-old World War II veteran Joseph Robert Wilson, Kym Parks of Air Transport Services Group, and the News Journal’s own advertising manager, Elizabeth Huber.
“I am beyond honored to win the community champion award. Every year I am on the committee to choose the winners and I know firsthand how amazing the nominations have been in the past,” said Huber. “I am beyond thankful to the community for all of their support and especially thankful to my husband who is so supportive of me when I say ‘so I have an idea!’ and get involved in another project.
“My love of reading started at a young age, with Mrs. McCoy at the middle school, so when Karen Long approached me and asked if I wanted to be part of the Clinton County Laundromat Libraries I did not hesitate. The idea of giving free books to the children of the community was something that I jumped right on board with. I am proud to say that we have since raised enough money to obtain our 501C3 non-profit status! A special thanks to Karen for nominating me and all the support.”
Among the recipients of the Education Award was JoAnne Lindsey who was recognized for her 51 years in educating. The 51 years included being a full-time teacher in multiple surrounding schools, then being a substitute teacher, and helping students at the Southern Ohio Learning Center.
Lindsey, during her acceptance, highlighted how proud she was to see former students present that evening. Among them was Mindy Waits-Johnson, who was there for Gabriel’s Angels Homecare LLC – which was nominated for a Healthcare Award.
“I had lost contact with her. It’s been 20 years. It’s my joy to see the success of my students,” said Lindsey.
The other winners of the Education Award were Cindy Stenger of Clinton-Massie Local Schools, Erin Henry and Dillon Oney of Wilmington High School, and the late Linda Larrick of Putman Elementary in Blanchester.
Other winners of the night included:
– Brown Funeral Home, Natalie Youd of Strength & Dignity Boutique LLC, and the Clarksville Post Office employees for the Business Award.
– Wilmington Code Enforcement Official Annen Vance, Wilmington Police Chief Ron Fithen, and Blanchester Police Chief Don Houghton for the Government/Public Service Award.
– Clinton Memorial Hospital, Harold and Judith Schnatz, and Janet Gick-Matrka, MD for the Healthcare Award.
– Kirsten Harris, Lee Sandlin of Sugartree Ministries, and Pastor Rich Boll of Wilmington Church of God, for the Non-Profit Award.
— Kaylie Paugh, Emma Falgner, and 13-year-old Cory Kidd, for the Youth Award.