One definition of a hero is as follows: A person who is admired for having done something very brave or having achieved something great. The definition of unsung is: Not noticed or praised for hard work, bravery or great achievements. When combining the two words and definitions together, you have an “unsung hero” who can be described as a person who has done something very significant, while never being noticed, praised, or recognized for any of their great works. This definition is what the Axel W. Carlson Award is all about. For the 20th straight year, the Community Foundation Board of Directors and staff are searching for the next Axel W. Carlson Award recipient. Nominations are now being accepted, and the deadline for nominations is March 1st.
Axel W. Carlson, was a Swedish immigrant to Jamestown who strongly believed in helping people in need but, in the process of doing, so never looked for reward or recognition. Upon his death in 1981, he left a substantial portion of his estate to assist the people of the community. He did so by starting a number of charitable funds at the Community Foundation.
Every year the Axel W. Carlson Award is given to an individual in the community who has followed in the footsteps of the award’s namesake. The recipient is generally someone who has made a definable impact on an organization, project, or initiative through volunteerism, while receiving no recognition for their dedication and hard work. Additionally, as a result of this person’s outstanding volunteer work, the community as a whole generally stands to benefit.
While there are many such individuals on an annual basis who deserve this award, the Foundation needs a great deal of help each year to uncover an “unsung hero.” This is due to the fact that recipients generally balk at the idea of receiving an award for simply doing what they know is good, just, and right. It is exactly this type of selflessness that makes these people deserving of recognition and such an award. This is why the Community Foundation needs your help. “Unsung heroes” of this community are everywhere, but the Foundation will need your nomination of these individuals. Whether your organization is a church, library, hospital, fire department, service institution, or any other volunteer-based organization, please seek out an outstanding volunteer and nominate him/her for the award.
The recipient of the Axel W. Carlson Award will receive a small plaque acknowledging his/her commitment, and his/her name will be inscribed on a plaque that hangs in Jamestown City Hall. In addition, the recipient will receive a check for $1,000 as a way of saying thanks for their good deeds, and a $500 check is awarded to the charity of the recipient’s choice.
Please remember that the nomination deadline for the Axel W. Carlson Award is March 1st, so help the Community Foundation and consider nominating someone vital to your organization or cause. Nomination forms can be obtained through the Foundation website at www.crcfonline.org or by calling 661-3390. Much of our livelihood is possible through these “unsung heroes,” and they all deserve their due recognition and our thanks.
Published in the January 29th edition of the Jamestown Post-Journal