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Coos County seeks nominations for Sylvia Evans Citizenship Award

BERLIN - Sylvia Evans was a community organizer and special education teacher who lived in Berlin for more than 43 years, working to establish a host of agencies and services designed to help and improve the local community.

Since 1981, an award has been given annually to the woman deemed to best exemplify Evans' qualities of giving and community commitment.

Now, administrators at Coos County Family Health Services are seeking nominees from the Greater Androscoggin Valley Region to enter the competition for the 2013 Sylvia Evans Citizenship Award.

"Each year, a woman is chosen for the award from a list of nominees who have devoted their time and energy toward community service to improve the lives of people in this region," competition organizers said in a news release.

"The Sylvia Evans award provides an opportunity to highlight the extraordinary - often unrecognized - contributions that women have made to the families of our region. It is also an excellent means of providing first role models for our young girls to emulate," they said.

The winner of the 2012 award was Berlin's Nancy J. Malone for her community leadership and volunteerism far above and beyond her role as a coordinator for Retired Senior Volunteer Program, organizers said in the release.

"Her enthusiasm has benefited many organizations and helped her to engage many others to become volunteers in the community," they wrote.

This year, CCFHS will again award a high school girl from the Androscoggin Valley the "Young Leadership" award, as part of the Sylvia Evans event. The 2012 award winners were Jaylan Parent-Ongel from Gorham High School, Kellee Heinemann from Community Bible Academy and Shannon O'Neill from Berlin High School.

Any group or individual wishing to make a nomination should send a written description of the nominee's contributions over the past several years (with emphasis on volunteer activities) along with the nominee's name, address, telephone number and email address to: Coos County Family Health Services, Attn: Sylvia Evans Award Committee, 54 Willow St., Berlin, NH 03570.

The deadline for nominations is Jan. 31.

For more information, call Volunteer Coordinator Linda Blanchette at 752-3669 or email lblanchette@ccfhs.org.

Brooklyn-born Sylvia V. Forman Evans, who died in 2005 in Danville, Cal., was the first woman to receive the Coos County FamilyHealth Services award in 1981. Over the years in the North Country, she organized a Well Baby Clinic, North Country Community Services, the Family Planning Board, a chapter of the American Association of University Women and the Parent Teachers' Association.

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Bob Hookway may be reached at bhookway@newstote.com.


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