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Nomination period open for Wellesley Citizens of the Year

Getting all the nominations in by month’s end will give organizers more time to prepare, otherwise the Wellesley Township Citizens of the Year awards will be run the same as last year when the fall fair took on the program.

Formerly run by the Wellesley and District Board of Trade, the awards were expanded to include not just a citizen of the year, but a junior citizen and a lifetime achievement honour.

The shortened nomination period – June 1-30 – aside, “We’re wanting to do exactly what we did last year,” said organizer Wendy Richardson.

A long-time volunteer with the Wellesley Township Fall Fair, Richardson serves on the award committee with Sally Draper, Terry Koudys, Lori Sebben, Sharon Runstedler and Shelly Wagner.

“This year, our nominations are closing in June – it will give us more time to get things together as a committee and decide who the recipients are and get the plaques ready beforehand,” she explained of the one change.

The committee is looking for nominations in three categories: the junior citizen is open to those under the age of 21, while both the citizen of the year and lifetime achievement categories are open to those over 21 years of age. Last year, Dennis Schultz was named citizen of the year, Miranda Schultz was named junior citizen of the year, and Esther Wanger received the lifetime achievement award.

Having run the fair’s inaugural event as the host of the awards during the pandemic, the committee learned new lessons on the fly, said Richardson.

“We really found that not too many people handed in the hard copies that we have available at the post offices. So, we haven’t put out as many copies to be picked up there, but we still have some there for those who would like to do that. Online really was the way to go.”

A more significant focus on digital is key this year, and online nomination forms can be found on the Wellesley Township Fall Fair website.

Another change that Richardson hopes that the second year will bring is more nominations.

“Nominate whichever way possible – just nominate, nominate, nominate and nominate as many times as you want,” she stressed.

In addition to those nominated this year, those nominated last year will remain up for selection again this year, minus those who were selected.

“We’re going to be announcing the winners at the fall fair this year. The fall fair is planning on being virtual alongside Wellesley Idol, so I imagine we’re going to organize something that we can hand out the plaques to them virtually, or at least have it online somehow – I guess that’s still to be determined. We have a lot of things that are still up in the air because COVID keeps changing and the rules keep changing, but that’s our plan at this point,” said Richardson.

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