If you spend any time in our community, or with people from Sutherlin, you will find that we are a little different. Different in that we are motivated to make our town better.

Our town is an amazing collection of people who work tirelessly to give back to the community. It is rare these days to find people who step up and ask first “How can I help?”

We are a town centered around service. Because service is so valued in our community, it is no surprise when there is a chance to recognize our community members for their service; it’s a big deal.

The 65th Annual Sutherlin First Citizen Awards Committee is now accepting nominations to honor just a few individual standouts that have so generously given their time and resources to helped their fellow neighbors and community members get through such a troubling 2020.

We are asking you to think of those people and businesses who are committed to this community and show it by their selfless volunteerism. Award categories include Man and Woman of the Year, Inspirational Leader, Outstanding Service Award and Outstanding Business.

Nominees should exemplify the following attributes: outstanding volunteerism in community service over many years; involvement in community activities; service in more than one area of the community; community participation and service or contributions performed outside the nominee’s business or profession; possess a high degree of cooperation in community and civic enterprise; and contributes recognizable leadership by inspiration and community endeavors.

If you have an individual or business that comes to mind, applications are available at the Sutherlin Area Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Center, 1310 W Central Ave., or online at www.visitsutherlin.com/first-citizen-awards. The deadline for nominations is March 19. We are aspiring to hold a program for The First Citizen Awards later this year that will be both online and in-person, following social distancing guidelines. The date will be shared with the announcement of our finalists in March.

Another aspect that makes our town so great is that we are looking forward to bringing our whole community together for 2021, once the vaccine has been widely distributed and the public is more comfortable to gather. A majority of these events are held outdoors or in areas where social distancing can still be respected.

As you plan your summer activities be sure to visit our event calendar at members.visitsutherlin.com/events. There you will find activities for every interest, whether you’re into geocaching, art, food, or hanging out with your K9 friend, you will find it in Sutherlin. Of course, most of these events are planned and organized by volunteers in our community who love Sutherlin and want to celebrate what we have to offer.

Yes, our town is different, in so many great ways.

Tracy Martz is the Executive Director for the Sutherlin Area Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Center.

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