Appeal, CAT 10 take over the Community Awards ceremony

The Carson City Community Awards will literally become a media event this year.

The Nevada Appeal and Carson Access Television have taken over the community awards ceremony that had been a Carson City Area Chamber of Commerce event for the past 30 years.

Both media outlets promise plenty of coverage leading up to and including the June 8 awards presentations at the Pinon Plaza.

The chamber willingly passed the awards ceremony to the newspaper and television station.

"We decided they could take the program and improve and expand it," said Larry Osborne, the chamber's executive vice president.

Nevada Appeal Publisher Jeff Ackerman and Craig Swope, executive director of the Carson Access Television Foundation, already had very close ties to the annual awards ceremony that honored residents, businesses and organizations each summer.

Swope for years has shared his indelible wit as the event's master of ceremonies and Ackerman serves on the chamber's board of directors, this year as treasurer. Rumor is the two will share the hosting duties this time.

"I'm going to take clear possession of this thing," Swope kidded.

The duo promises changes to honor more people and better bring the spotlight on nominees.

"I always thought the spotlight has to be on the nominees and nothing else," Ackerman said.

When the chamber presented community awards, the event was combined with the installation of officers for the chamber board.

"This will not have anything to do with the chamber," Ackerman said. "We hope the community awards becomes a very distinguished honor."

Ackerman and Swope are starting with a clean slate. They tossed out the traditional award categories (citizen of the year, citizen of the years, business of the year and organization of the year) and asked the Nevada Appeal's reader panel to suggest new awards.

The panel suggested seven categories: academic, artist, athlete, boss, employee, humanitarian and organization.

"We're not boxing anybody in," Ackerman said. "The categories are pretty broad. An academic doesn't just have to be a student or teacher. It can be an administrator or a person who contributes to the schools. The boss of the year doesn't have to be the person who runs the company. It can be your supervisor. An artist can be a musician.

"Expand your thought process when you make your nominations."

To nominate someone, write an essay of at least 150 words describing the reasons the nominee should be honored. Send these nominations by May 10 to Jeff Ackerman, Nevada Appeal, P.O. Box 2288, Carson City 89702.

People sending nominations are asked to include an address and phone number because Swope wants to videotape some of the nominators speaking about their nominees. These videos will be shown at the awards ceremony.

The message the chamber, the newspaper and the television want to get out with this change of who runs the awards is that anybody in the community may nominate or be nominated for one of the awards.

"One of the realities is the chamber of commerce is very much tied to the business community, as it should be," Swope said. "But the downside is with nominations. Too many people thought nominees had to be chamber members or only chamber members could nominate someone. That's not true. That has been a factor in soliciting nominations."

Osborne noticed the same thing in recent years.

"It's a great program but it didn't seem to grow," Osborne said. "We had trouble getting nominations for some of the awards. The Nevada Appeal and CAT 10 represent the community as a whole. It will become better community awards."

The awards committee, consisting of the Nevada Appeal reader panel and some CAT 10 board members, will select three or four finalists before choosing winners for each category. Ackerman said pictures of all the finalists will appear in the newspaper as well coverage of the award presentations.

CAT-10 will televise the ceremony. Ever since Swope shifted from KPTL-AM to CAT-10 a year ago, he has worked to increase local programming.

"One of the goals we have is increased visibility of cable access television," Swope said. "We want to be associated with more community events."


What: Community Awards

Who: The Nevada Appeal and CAT 10 replace the Carson City Area Chamber of Commerce as producers of the awards program.

When: June 8 luncheon

Where: Pinon Plaza

Awards will be presented for all new categories:

-- Academic of the year

-- Artist of the year

-- Athlete of the year

-- Boss of the year

-- Employee of the year

-- Humanitarian of the year

-- Organization of the year

Nominations are by way of an essay at least 150 words long to be mailed to Jeff Ackerman, Nevada Appeal, P.O. Box 2288, Carson City, Nev. 89702. Nominations must be postmarked by May 10.


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