Lakeland Mayor Seeks Community Champions

By Christopher Guinn
The Ledger
Published: Wednesday, November 4, 2015 at 11:13 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, November 4, 2015 at 11:13 p.m.
LAKELAND — Mayor Howard Wiggs wants to acknowledge Lakeland’s most civic-minded individuals and wants help figuring out who they are.

“There are lots and lots of folks doing good things, positive things in the community, and they never get recognition for it,” Wiggs said.

He said he wants that to change and is hoping residents will nominate their local heroes at the city’s website at www.lakelandgov.net/city-government/mayorscitizensaward.

A selection committee will name its first Citizen of the Quarter in January. The Citizen of the Year will be selected from the quarterly award winners.

Wiggs said he hopes the program will bring out the best community champions, both as way to recognize good deeds and to show Lakelanders what others are doing to improve their city and the lives of its people.

A city is more than its government, Wiggs said — the culture and people make it a place worth caring about and investing in. It’ll be good for the city to recognize those “unsung, and sometimes sung” people who make Lakeland what it is.

Winners will be thanked by the City Commission and presented a cash award. Quarterly winners will receive $250, provided by program sponsors, and the person who nominates the winner will get $50 for the effort. The annual winner will receive $1,000.

Winners will be selected based on their significant contributions to the community, how they are an inspirational role model and the scope of the impact the person has had on Lakeland.

Nominees must live within Lakeland’s city limits and must be a U.S. citizen.

— Christopher Guinn can be reached at Christopher.Guinn@theledger.com or 863-802-7592. Follow him on Twitter @CGuinnNews.