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Column

The ones who stood out from the crowd

As the new year approaches, award winners from the past year should serve as an inspiration to the rest of us to do a better job contributing to the community’s well-being.

Quite a few awards were conveyed this past year to recognize people who excel at their jobs, who are exceptional volunteers, and who make unselfish contributions to the community.

We couldn’t let the old year pass by without remembering some of the awards that were handed out to deserving people and organizations in 2018.

Let’s start with awards given by the Princeton Area Chamber of Commerce. Second Story Teen Center was named the Organization of the Year, while Perry Memorial Hospital was the Business of the Year.

The Chamber saluted Arin Peterson as Ambassador of the Year. Holding Peterson in high regard is a sentiment shared by the Princeton Rotary Club, which also honored her by naming her the Rotarian of the Year.

The Princeton Lions Club made a special effort to salute two deceased former members, Don Smith and Lawrence DeVore, by installing useful memorials to them at Veterans Park in Princeton.

Dr. Arnold Faber was saluted by the Illinois Rural Health Association, which named him a Physician of Excellence.

Dr. Mary Bouxsein, Princeton High School class of 1982, was inducted into the Princeton High School Academic and Career Hall of Fame.

Jim Rapp, a Princeton area farmer, was named a 2018 Master Farmer by Prairie Farmer magazine — one of four farmers across Illinois to be so honored.

Illinois Valley Living magazine, a sister publication of the Bureau County Republican, handed out six Women of Distinction awards this year to Leann Bill, Joan Fernandez, Rita Frank, Ginger Freeberg, Terry Johnson and Annette Schnabel.

Rob Jensen of the Princeton Police Department was named the D.A.R.E. Officer of the Year in Illinois.

Francis Morse was named Volunteer of the Year by the Bureau County Fair Board, which also honored its retiring president, Gary Monier.

Jim Smith was named grand marshal of the Bureau County Homestead Festival parade.

People who are designated for awards such as these receive them for a reason — because of their outstanding contributions to an organization, to a community, even to an entire state.

That they excel at their vocations and also walk among us should be an inspiration to the rest of us to strive to do better this coming year at contributing to the community’s well-being.

— BCR Editorial Board

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