First Lady Seeks Nominations for Outstanding Community Service Awards

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Nebraska’s First Lady Sally Ganem is seeking nominations through Nebraska’s volunteer service commission, ServeNebraska, for the 2014 First Lady’s Outstanding Community Service Awards.

The awards are presented annually to recognize distinguished volunteer service throughout the state.

“I am pleased to work with ServeNebraska to recognize Nebraskans who have made extraordinary efforts and generous contributions to our great state,” said First Lady Ganem. “Nebraskans are special people. We invest our time and talents into our communities, to help keep Nebraska great. Each year, 500,000 Nebraskans volunteer and have a huge, positive impact. The First Lady’s Outstanding Community Service Awards is an opportunity to say ‘thank you’ to our friends and neighbors who volunteer.”

First Lady Ganem serves as honorary chair of ServeNebraska, and is a champion of volunteering and service. As a former elementary school principal, she has a particular affection for students, educators and service-learning projects. Given her lifelong interest and passion for education, the First Lady’s Outstanding Community Service Awards have been designed to reflect her commitment to learning.

First Lady Ganem will oversee the awards and recognize significant contributions of Nebraska groups and individuals. There are 11 awards in total with two categories including education and outstanding volunteerism. Categories for awards include individuals, groups, businesses, service organizations, faith-based organizations, youth and national service members.

The First Lady’s Outstanding Community Service Awards will be presented at an awards ceremony luncheon on Friday, April 11 at the Thompson Alumni Center at the University of Nebraska at Omaha.

Nationally, Nebraska has recently been recognized for their commitment to volunteerism. Nebraska has risen to the top five states for volunteerism according to the annual Volunteering and Civic Life in America, with more than one in three residents volunteering in 2012.

The First Lady’s Outstanding Community Service Awards have been annually awarded since 2001. Past recipients of the awards include the Sacred Circle Learning Project of Omaha where projects are focused on mentoring that promotes American Indian culture; the Students Free Enterprise from the University of Nebraska Kearney where outreach service is related to youth entrepreneurship education and community development; and many more.