One of the great pleasures we have here at the Southeast Missourian is celebrating the good of our communities. This column is often filled with praise of individuals or groups who are making a positive impact in our region.
Every Fourth of July we take that concept and celebrate one deserving individual as our Spirit of America Award winner. This year will be the award's eighth year. To honor the individual, we donate $1,000 to the winner's charity or civic group of choice. We've had some outstanding individuals win the award.
Last year's winner, Rob Callahan of Poplar Bluff, Mo., founded the Honor Tour in 2007. Other past winners include Harry Rediger in 2009, Jane Randol Jackson in 2008, James Hearnes Sr. in 2007, Neal Edwards in 2006, Melvin Gateley in 2005 and Dr. Dan Cotner in 2004. John "Doc" Yallaly was the first Spirit of America Award winner in 2003.
But this isn't just a newspaper award. We rely on our readers, our community, to submit nominations. Do you know someone who embodies the Spirit of America, who lives by values such as patriotism, loyalty, service, generosity and entrepreneurship? If so, we look forward to receiving your nomination. And we look forward to honoring the winner at Cape Girardeau's Fourth of July celebration.
Look for nomination forms inside the Southeast Missourian or on the web at www.semissourian.com/forms/spirit.