The Rotary Club of Banks County is sponsoring a new annual awards program called “Rotary Salutes Banks County.”

The purpose of this new initiative is to provide recognition in the community for first responders and civic leaders that go above and beyond the call of duty. Nominations are now being accepted for eight different awards in either the Public Safety Category or the Public Service Category.

The deadline for nominations is June 1. The winners will be announced during a virtual online program on June 19.

In all there are eight awards.

The Public Safety Category awards include Public Safety Unit of the Year, Award of Merit, Public Safety Professional of the Year, The Lifesaving Award and the Award of Valor.

The three awards in the Public Service Category are Public Safety Supporter of the Year, Community Leadership, and Distinguished Service.

Public Safety Award nominations must be submitted by or signed-off on by senior staff members within the appropriate department.

Whereas, nominations for the Public Service awards are open to anyone in the community.

“We’ve been working on putting together the ‘Rotary Salutes’ concept for the last 8 months, but we had been in a holding pattern due to the advent of the Coronavirus pandemic,” said Banks County Rotary President Mark Valentine. “Finally, one of our members made the point that if there was ever a time when we need to show recognition and appreciation for our first responders it is now. Ultimately, the board of directors agreed and decided to plan on a virtual event that could be aired on both the Zoom meeting and Facebook Live platforms."

The Nomination Form outlines the process and criteria for each award. The forms are available from any Banks County Rotarian, or via request by email to BanksCountyRotary@gmail.com. The pages of the form are also posted on the club Facebook page at fb.me/BanksRotary

The judging, or Selection Committee will consist of individuals in the public safety sector with unbiased stance within the community as well as several outside the public safety sector including members of the Rotary Club.

"The committee will serve as the governing body to oversee the event, awards and selection process and to ensure the awards and the program keep their integrity and value from year to year," Valentine said. "It is the long-term objective that the ‘Rotary Salutes’ awards maintain a focus on ‘service,’ so as to reinforce the Rotary Motto of 'Service Above Self.'"

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