Spirit of America nominations sought

David Cantrell, center, receives a $1,000 charitable prize May 18 from Southeast Missourian publisher and Rust Communications co-president Jon K. Rust, left, and assistant publisher Lucas Presson. The charitable prize was split between the four organizations that nominated Cantrell -- Clippard Wilson Taylor VFW Post 3838, Noon Optimist Club-Cape Girardeau, Kiwanis Club of Cape Girardeau and Cape Girardeau Noon Lions Club. Nominations now are being accepted for the 2021 Southeast Missourian Spirit of America Award.
Sarah Yenesel

Time is running short for individuals and charitable organizations to nominate candidates for this year’s Southeast Missourian Spirit of America Award.

The annual award recognizes residents who improve their communities in ways ranging from volunteerism to public service. Organizations and individuals in Cape Girardeau, Perry, Bollinger, Stoddard and Scott counties in Missouri and Union, Pulaski and Alexander counties in Illinois are invited to submit nominations.

“One of the special aspects of this award is both individuals and organizations can submit nominations,” said Lucas Presson, Southeast Missourian assistant publisher. “Last year’s recipient, David Cantrell, was nominated by Cape Girardeau’s Noon Optimist, the Noon Lions and Kiwanis clubs and Clippard Wilson Taylor VFW Post 3838. If the winner is nominated by an organization, that organization receives the $1,000 cash prize. If nominated by an individual, the winner selects a charity to receive the monetary award. Over the years, the Southeast Missourian has awarded $18,000 representing the 18 different Spirit of America Award recipients.”

Previous winners of the award are Cantrell, James Blair Moran, Raymond Buhs, Pete Poe, Jim Bollinger, Jerry Ford, Mary Kasten, Kenneth Bender, Kent Zickfield, David Hitt, Rob Callahan, Harry Rediger, Jane Randol Jackson, James Harnes Sr., Neal Edwards, Melvin Gateley, Dan Cotner and John “Doc” Yallaly.

“The previous Southeast Missourian Spirit of America Award recipients represent a range of qualities we believe are deeply embedded into the fabric of this country’s greatness,” Presson said. “From entrepreneurs to serial volunteers to veterans and everything in between, previous winners show the character, dedication to community and country and vision that set the bar high for the rest of us.”

This year’s recipient will be recognized at the City of Cape Girardeau’s Great American Fourth of July celebration.

All nominations will be profiled in the Southeast Missourian on July 1.

The deadline for submitting a nomination is June 15.

For more information contact Lucas Presson, assistant publisher, at (573) 388-3649 or lpresson@semissourian.com.