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Nominations sought for Pat Patrick award
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The Newton Fund is taking nominations for its fourth annual Pat Patrick Big Heart Award, which recognizes exceptional volunteers in the community.

The Newton Fund, a local part of The Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta, is asking local nonprofits, individuals and other community-based organizations to nominate Newton County residents who have made a measurable difference in the community through selfless endeavors.

"This award was created to recognize and honor a local community volunteer who gives back through notable service and time to Newton County," said Barbara Morgan, chair of the Newton Fund. "The Newton Fund understands the importance of civic engagement and how it shapes our community. When residents give of their time, talent and resources, critical needs are met and communities are improved."

Last year's Pat Patrick Big Heart Award went to Mary Arnwine, a minister and active member of the First United Methodist Church and volunteer. Arnwine said the award last year inspired her in her volunteering.

"I think it was wonderful thing to happen," Arnwine, 89, said. "It's been great trying to do the things I've been doing for people."

Lee Aldridge and Ed Jenkins won the award in its first and second years.

Along with recognition, the winner of the Pat Patrick Big Heart Award, named in honor of the founding chair of the Newton Fund, will receive a $2,000 award grant to be designated to a charity of choice.

Last year, Arnwine chose to give $1,000 each to Friends of Newton Parks and the Newton County Arts Association.
Those interested in nominating someone for the Big Heart Award should contact Morgan at (770) 385-8811 or A nomination form will be provided to complete and return. Nomination forms can also be downloaded at (go to the Newton Fund page). The deadline for submitting nominations is Feb. 10.

Similar to last year, the 2012 winner will be recognized at a special reception in late February. In addition to the Big Heart Award recognition, the Newton Fund will also award grants totaling nearly $19,000 to several Newton County nonprofits at the reception.

This year marks the 12th year of the Newton Fund, which works with community members, nonprofits and other partners to encourage philanthropy in Newton County. One of four local funds of The Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta, the Newton Fund provides grants to nonprofit organizations making an impact in their community. Since 2000, the Newton Fund has granted more than $260,000 to area nonprofits responding to the changing needs of the community, according to the organization.