Today we get the privilege of celebrating our Hometown Hero.
Every year, The Covington News recognizes a local who goes out of his or her way to make their hometown a little better.
But really, it is a way to celebrate and remind ourselves of the spirit that makes our annual Hometown Hero, the finalists for the award and — new this year — the nominees such special individuals.
In previous editions, when describing our vision of what a Hometown Hero is, we spurred readers to reflect on those words themselves, and nominate residents for this honor.
Residents recommended several worthy individuals, who then were selected by committee members from General Mills.
General Mills and The Covington News have had a long-standing partnership for the Hometown Heroes. We, as a community newspaper, celebrate all that is good in our community. As a company, General Mills goes by the motto “serves the world by making food people love.”
The two go hand-in-hand. General Mills Covington Plant Manager Mark Bible considers his company’s motto amazing, both because of the primary concept and that company leadership is bold enough to use the word love.
We would agree with his assessment, and that it is a key component to the Hometown Hero.
We regularly celebrate both our home and heroes often within these pages. But the opportunity to celebrate the unsung heroes you will find on pages 5 through 8 of this edition, who were nominated by our readers, voted on by our readers, and then finally selected by a committee with serving and love at the heart of it — well, that’s something special.
We did things differently this year. Instead of selecting from heroes that have only had their story told in The Covington News, we asked our readers to nominate candidates. We asked people to recognize those around them that do more without asking, give without taking and work tirelessly without expecting credit.
Once nominations were made, the public could vote. Voting only helped to qualify the candidates in a ranked order for presentation to the committee. This was not a popularity contest — that would fly in the face of the unsung hero. This was a project to uncover the best-untold story of an unsung hero.
Each nominee is deserving of the recognition. Each person was considered, at some level or another, to embody the characteristics of a hero; to embody what truly makes this community great with their giving spirit.
The selection of just one was nearly impossible, so we applaud all nominees and especially the three finalists. As you will see in our Hometown Heroes’ section this year’s nominees were from multiple generations.
Whether you are 7, 14, or a bit older, you can be an inspiration to others.
In essence, what Hometown Heroes all have in common is inspiring others.
We hope that the stories of this year’s Hometown Hero, finalists and nominees inspire each of us to take on their characteristics of selflessness, love, heroism and support of our hometown.