Take the time to honor those who give their time

Monday, February 13, 2017

My father, whom I adore, was honored Sunday night by a livestock association he is a member of, with a prestigious award. That surprise honor meant my mom, siblings and I trekked to Des Moines to help commemorate the night. For me, it was the fourth trip to the capital city in two weeks.

I may have been feeling a bit sorry for myself on the way home, as miles piled up upon miles and the hour grew later. I reflected, on that long ride home, that those who honored dad see the results of his work the cattle he raises, the dinners and breakfasts he puts on for the association's members, the endless meetings he attends.

What they don't see are the miles behind the wheel getting to meetings, the early morning treks in the dark to check on a sick cow, or fix a leaky waterer. They don't see the hours spent over a hot smoker, babying huge hunks of beef into tender dinners. They don't see, but they showed him they appreciate the results.

That turned my mind to our annual recognition of local folks who dedicate untold hours of time and dedication to making this community great. The Spencer Citizen of the Year award recognizes effort above and beyond to make our community a better place in which to live.

There are so many unsung heroes so many who carry the water that the rest of us don't see. The award is a great opportunity to shine a light on those people.

Early every year, we at the Daily Reporter ask you, the residents of our community, to recognize those who go above and beyond to help others in our community.

We want to honor them, show these folks that, while they may think what they do is "no big deal," their contributions to the community are noticed and appreciated. We name them Spencer's Citizen of the Year. We hold a reception in late April to recognize their achievements, and most importantly, we take the time to simply let them know that we've noticed all they've done, and we appreciate the dedication they've shown.

We can't honor folks if we don't know about their work. That's where you come in. You can simply jot a note, or send an email, telling us what your nominee does to help make Spencer a better place to live. We remind you, however, that these activities should fall outside the realm of their job. If you wish, you can ask a group to send additional letters of support.

These nominations must be returned to me at the Daily Reporter offices, at 310 East Milwaukee, P.O. Box 197, Spencer, IA 51301, by March 17. Emails are also accepted at pbuenger@spencerdailyreporter.com.

Then, the past Citizen of the Year honorees, an impressive bunch, will select this year's honoree. We will fete the winner at a reception coinciding with the publication of the Daily Reporter's Progress edition in late April.

Look around at all the great things happening in this community. Then look at the great people making those things happen. There is certainly no shortage of community-minded givers. We're asking that you just give them a public pat on the back with the nomination, as all nomination letters will be published in the Progress edition.

Take the time to give that support to someone who works to support all of us.