Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Governor's Hometown Award Judging

      A couple of weeks ago three of us from Martinsville participated in judging the Governor's Hometown Awards applications.  We were invited to be judges because Martinsville was one of the winners of the Governor's Hometown Award last year.
     The applicants were from 6 population categories ranging from under 1500, to over 70,000.  The projects were submitted under 6 categories.  Each applicant could submit a different project in each category if they had qualifying projects, but only 2 or 3 of them had more than one entry.  Last year Martinsville won over all the projects in their population group and was a finalist with the other population group winners.
     One reason we thought it would be good to participate in the judging was to better understand the criteria used to judge each project, since we are working on projects right now in the community that we think would qualify, and also to get ideas for other projects that would help our community.  It was a very interesting and enlightening experience.
     This morning I was thinking about the Mayor of LaSalle who presented their project.  He appeared to be in his late 30's or early 40's and was so enthusiastic about helping his community grow.  He said that from the time he was very young, his dad instilled in him that no matter where he ended up living, he needed to remember his roots and find some way to give back to his community.  When he said that I thought "What a wise man!".
      Today we have so many takers and so few givers.  People have lost the sense of responsibility to help others.  Is it because we have not consciously passed it on to the next generation as this man did? Let's become more aware of opportunities to help our young people see the blessings they enjoy, instill gratitude for these blessings and for those who made it possible, and then help them discover ways to give back to the community so these blessings can be perpetuated.  It's never too late to begin again.

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