MT. VERNON – Friday is the last day to submit nominations for the 2013 class of the Senior Saints Hall of Fame.
The program, an annual tradition since 1998, honors about 12 area residents for their volunteer work and commitment to community service.
To nominate someone, you must complete an application form and obtain three letters of recommendation.
All nomination packets must be submitted to the Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce, 200 Potomac Blvd., in the Municipal West Building, no later than 4:30 p.m. this Friday.
“There's still time,” said David Keen, chairman of the Senior Saints Hall of Fame Committee and one of the founders of the program. “If somebody wants to contact me or any of the Senior Saints Committee members or the Chamber, they can. There's still time to get letters.”
To qualify as a Senior Saint this year, nominees have to have been 65 years or older and living as of Jan. 1, 2013. They must also be a Jefferson County resident and cannot be a current paid political officer holder.
Previous nominees who were not selected are still eligible to be nominated again, Keen said. If you are interested in re-nominating someone, you should contact the Chamber.
“We've had calls (from) several individuals that are doing that,” Keen said of re-nominating.
Once the submission deadline elapses, all nomination packets are evaluated by the Senior Saints Hall of Fame Committee. Then, they are sent to three judges from outside the county, who score each nominee.
After the scoring, the committee determines who the 12 Senior Saints will be. A press conference will be held Sept. 11 at City Hall to announce the honorees. This year's honoring ceremony is scheduled for Oct. 5 at the Holiday Inn in Mt. Vernon.
“I think it's just a very unique way to honor individuals and thank them for all they've done for the community,” Keen said of the program. “It's a model for younger citizens to realize what these citizens have done for the community and (will) hopefully inspire them to do the same.”
Retired businessman Jerry McCracken, also one of the founders of Senior Saints, said the prestige of the program has grown tremendously over the years. Even so, the goal has remained the same – to recognize those people whose efforts helped make Mt. Vernon and Jefferson County what they are today, he said.
“It's showed that we do appreciate the folks that came before us,” McCracken said. “It's just an all-around good program that came out of this.”
The program is a collaborative effort involving the Senior Saints Hall of Fame Committee, the Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce, the City of Mt. Vernon, and the Jefferson County Board.
For more information, contact the Chamber at 242-5725 or Keen at 316-9502.