Person of the Year nominees must be in by Friday, Nov. 17

November 06, 2006

For months, The Herald-Mail and some community partners have asked citizens to consider political candidates. We hope readers have done that and will go to the polls tomorrow.

But today we ask readers to look at candidates of a different sort. Ever since 2000, The Herald-Mail has celebrated each New Year by putting the spotlight on someone who has made a significant, positive effect on Hagerstown and Washington County and their citizens.

The idea came from two editors, who decided in 2000 that in the midst of what then was a furor over the possible ramifications of the so-called Y2K bug, that the new year should begin on a positive note.

They approached Publisher John League, who agreed that The Herald-Mail should mark Jan. 1 with the announcement of The Herald-mail's Person of the Year.


Candidates for the honor are nominated by people in the community, then chosen by a combination of local citizens and Herald-Mail employees.

The winner is featured in a detailed profile that appears on the front page of the Jan. 1 edition of The Herald-Mail.

In addition, that person is also given a crystal bowl and $1,000 for his or her favorite charity. The winner's name is also engraved on a plaque displayed at the newspaper's office.

Choosing among the nominees has always been difficult. Anyone who has been involved has found that there are a great many people in this community who donate their time and resources to making life better here in a variety of ways.

All of the winners so far, including John Barr, the late Mike Callas, Norman Shea, John Waltersdorf, Art Callaham, James G. Piern and Jack Hershey have had one thing in common. They are less concerned with getting public credit for what they do than they are about actually accomplishing something.

For example, Mike Callas was well known in the community, but it was only after his death that the many good deeds he had done and the causes he supported were revealed.

One need not be well-known to be nominated for this honor. The only requirement is that the nominee must live in Washington County and have done good things for the community.

Even those who don't win may be recognized in a special publication in Spring 2007 titled "Making a Difference."

Please consider suggesting a worthy candidate. A form to do that was printed in the Sunday, Nov. 5, Herald-Mail, and will be printed again on Wednesday, Nov. 8.

Or you can complete it online at Nominating a worthy person is the one way everyone can make a difference. Please do it soon, because the deadline is Friday, Nov. 17.

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