By Joe Hoshaw Jr.
Several of Trenton’s standout residents got some much-deserved special recognition last month during the 42nd annual City Awards Banquet.
Plaques were handed out in 14 different categories and included honorees ranging from a 16-year-old Trenton High School junior recognized for volunteerism to an octogenarian lauded for neighborliness above and beyond the call of duty.
Sponsored by the Trenton Civic Commission, the banquet was largely a celebration of community spirit and the various types of positive results it can generate. About 200 people attended the festive affair, which was held at the Knights of Columbus hall on West Jefferson and emceed by Councilman Bill LeFevre.
Singer Janet Lane performed prior to the dinner, which was prepared by Tim’s Catering.
The awards program that followed dinner included the presentations of several annual honors that the city and the civic commission accord annually, as well as a trio of awards given by local organizations.
One of those organizations was the Trenton Veterans of Foreign Wars post, which participates in the national “Voice of Democracy” essay-writing contest that honors one Trenton middle school and one high school student.
This year’s essays were written under the theme, “Is There Pride in Serving in Our Military?” The essay written by Nick Vasguer was the winner in the middle school category, while Katrina Scheffler was the high school-level winner.
The Trenton Business Association again used the city dinner as an opportunity to announce the winner of its Member of the Year Award, which was won by Rick Williams, the owner of Comfort Keepers. Trenton Rotary also paid tribute to its 2011 Member of the Year, Bill Jasman.
There were four different honors given out in the City Awards category.
AFSCME Municipal Employee of the Year, which went to Tom Brewer.
Police Officer of the Year, won by Officer Steve Lyons.
Firefighter of the Year, won by Fire Marshall Jeff Evans.
The Trenton Fire Department also awarded its Andy Mason Award, which went to Drs. Marvin Sonne and Michael Shapiro, who life-saving efforts rescued a man who was having a heart attack at a University of Michigan Game in Ann Arbor last fall.
The Civic Commission sponsored the other seven awards given out that evening.
The Charlie Brown Award is given annually to someone for efforts on behalf of youth sports in the community. The honor was won this year by Tony Ciarlo, who is the coach of the Trenton High varsity baseball team and the vice president of the Trenton Baseball Association.
The Outstanding Good Neighbor Award this year was given to two individuals. They were Ted Hageman and Thelma Fuch.
Trenton’s Outstanding Senior was John Bostek.
The Outstanding Woman honor went to Trenton Board of Education member Cristine Howe.
Trenton’s Outstanding Youth was THS junior Andrew Lindsay, who volunteered his time and energy to create the new wood cabinets that were incorporated into the expanded tribute to local veterans inside the Trenton Veterans Memorial Library.
The Outstanding Trentonite award went to Kathy Kane, co-publisher of the Trenton Trib and owner of Market Insights.
The Duane F. Brannick Award was presented to DTE Energy. Representative Brian Kincaid was on hand to accept the honor for the utility.
All of the Civic Commission and City of Trenton award winner were selected from among nominations collected last fall. The Trenton Business Association, Trenton Rotary and VFW awards program were all conducted independently.
Mayor Kyle Stack gave special recognition to the Civic Commission for its efforts in planning the annual banquet during welcoming remarks she made prior to dinner. The commission is chaired by Joe Oaks and members include Scott Barr, Peggy Eaton, Ted Hageman, Laurie Milley, Brenda Oaks, Raymond Phillips, James Urbanski, Judy Urbanski, Norbert Wegienka and Karen Weinschenke