Because of their altruistic nature, those who do the most for others often receive the least amount of recognition. This is where the Tribune Chronicle's Community Star program steps in to honor 10 outstanding people who give back to the Trumbull County community with no intention of compensation.
The 12th annual Tribune Chronicle program celebrates the volunteers who have had a significant influence on the community, be it through tireless hours of service, random acts of kindness or a single moment of courage.
"Oftentimes, those things go unnoticed even though they're significant," said Sue Shafer, Tribune Chronicle community events coordinator. "This is our way of recognizing those people."
To nominate a Community Star by Feb. 1:
• Email Sue Shafer at email@example.com
• Use the Virtual Newsroom at tribtoday.com
• Deliver or mail to Sue Shafer, c/o Tribune Chronicle, 240 Franklin St. S.E., Warren OH 44483.
Each year, the newspaper receives between 60 and 70 nomination submissions, Shafer said. Ten are chosen to be given the awards, recognized in a special section published in the newspaper, and treated to a banquet open to the community at W.D. Packard Music Hall on March 19.
Last year's Community Stars were:
Ali Bashir of Warren, who as president of the Southeast Side Community Association, has been setting up houses around his Milton Street neighborhood to give kids a place to go with the knowledge they will be safe. He and his wife, Marcelaine, also have taken in more than a dozen foster children over the years.
Marty Cohen of Bazetta, who is highly involved in several local and charitable organizations, including Lions Club, American Red Cross and Boy Scouts of Western Reserve Council. He also helped begin River Rock at the Amp.
Michele Jones of Howland, who has been very active in Down syndrome awareness and events. She co-founded the nonprofit Down Syndrome Association of the Valley and brought the Buddy Walk to the Mahoning Valley.
Helen Ruth McKenzie of Vienna, who has volunteered countless hours at the Vienna Food Pantry.
James Mariano of Warren, who for more than a decade has placed American flags on the graves of local U.S. military veterans. For the past 17 years, he also has volunteered at the VA Medical Center in Youngstown.
David Moore of Bazetta, who spends his retirement performing military rites with the Trumbull County Honor Guard at the funerals of veterans.
Nancy Olds of Bazetta, who trains therapy dogs for disabled people and visits the local hospitals and rehabilitation centers with her dogs.
Carol Olson of Howland, who volunteers for no less than 14 organizations, including the Upton Association, Mobile Meals, and various church organizations.
Ricky and Mackenzie Pasco, siblings from Hubbard, who hold fundraisers for the Make-A-Wish foundation after having their own wishes granted while battling an immune deficiency.
Geneva Reid of Warren, who was active with the Community Legal Aid Board, was grand matron of the Eastern Star, and was an advocate for AmeriCorps Vista and Someplace Safe. Reid died Sept. 2.
Nominations are due by Feb. 1, and winners will be chosen based on the nomination letter by Feb. 6 and announced in the Tribune Chronicle on Feb. 10. They can be emailed to Shafer at firstname.lastname@example.org or submitted through the Virtual Newsroom on tribtoday.com. They can also be hand-delivered or mailed to Sue Shafer c/o Tribune Chronicle, 240 Franklin St. S.E., Warren, OH 44483.