By Robert Haught
Hurricanes, floods, forest fires, and other tragic events have struck several parts of the country this past year. If your community suffered a natural disaster, did local news media get involved in coming to the aid of victims, during and after the event? Was there an individual columnist or other writer who performed outstanding service?
Or has a writer performed commendable community service, such as Suzette Martinez Standring of Milton, Mass.; George Waters of Pasadena, Calif.; or New Hampshire broadcaster-columnist Mike Morin?
Any of these writers might qualify for the annual Will Rogers Humanitarian Award, which will be presented at the annual meeting of the National Society of Newspaper Columnists in Cincinnati, Ohio, this June.
Nominations for the award are now being accepted. Rules and an entry form may be downloaded from the columnists.com website, where there also is information about past winners. They have engaged not only in disaster relief work but charitable fundraising and a variety of other humanitarian activities.
Any regularly published newspaper columnist, investigative reporter, or feature writer who is not a previous winner is eligible for the award. Writers may not nominate themselves, however. Entries must be signed and submitted by the writer’s supervisor. Deadline is April 1, 2018.
The winner is expected to accept the award in person. Along with a desk-size statuette, a $500 stipend is given to help defray the cost of attendance at the conference.
If you know of someone you think might be deserving of this recognition, please send the name and a brief description of qualifying reasons to Robert Haught, program coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org and he will follow up on your lead.
The Will Rogers Humanitarian Award, named for the popular entertainer and columnist of the 1920s and early ’30s, was established in 1999 and has named 19 recipients. Last year’s honoree, Suzette Martinez Standring, was recognized for her leadership with the Milton Woman’s Club in distributing proceeds from the sale of an old clubhouse to various charities and worthy projects. Suzette is a columnist, author, speaker, and writing instructor who also serves as NSNC’s executive director.
Robert L. Haught is a former NSNC officer and board member who developed the Will Rogers Humanitarian Award program and has served as coordinator since its establishment in 1999.