DOWNLOAD THE 2014 NOMINATION FORM HERE!

Nominations Sought For 2014 Steel Magnolia Awards

Nominations are now open for women to be considered for the sixth annual Steel Magnolia Award, the Middletown Community Foundation has announced.

Women who have overcome obstacles to positively impact their community have the opportunity to earn recognition as Steel Magnolia Award recipients in the program funded by the AK Steel Foundation.  Up to 10 awards are given annually, limited to no more than one recipient per AK Steel U.S. location per year.  Each recipient designates a $1,000 donation to an eligible charity of her choice.

The award honors women of all ages who have faced personal adversity and have shown exceptional strength, courage, compassion and leadership through their work in support of their communities.

“In honor of women who have overcome adversity to serve as a shining example to others, the AK Steel Foundation is proud to fund the Steel Magnolia Award,” said James L. Wainscott, chairman, president and CEO of AK Steel.

Middletown Community Foundation Executive Director T. Duane Gordon added: “It is always a heartwarming experience to read the nomination essays each year of these amazing and most deserving women whose impacts on our communities are immeasurable.”

Recipients may select a favorite charity to receive a $1,000 donation in their honor.

Nominations, which should take the form of an essay of 500 words or less, must be submitted to the program administrator, the Middletown Community Foundation, no later than July 31. Nominees must live in the vicinity of an AK Steel facility. Association with AK Steel is not a requirement for nomination and will have no bearing on the nominee’s consideration. 

Other eligible communities are Ashland, Ky.; Butler, Pa.; Columbus and Rockport, Ind.; and Coshocton, Mansfield, Middletown, Walbridge, West Chester and Zanesville, Ohio.

Nomination forms are downloadable here.

 

Steel Magnolia Awards Given To Area Women

Four deserving women have been selected as the fifth annual Steel Magnolia Award honorees, the Middletown Community Foundation has announced.

The awards honor women who have overcome obstacles to positively impact the community. The program is administered by the Middletown Community Foundation and funded by the AK Steel Foundation. 

The Steel Magnolia Award honors women of all ages who face personal adversity and have shown exceptional strength, courage, compassion and leadership through their work in support of their communities. Nominations by essay were solicited over the summer from the public in each of the 10 communities where AK Steel operates a facility. Volunteer judges from the various communities reviewed the essays of those who agreed to be considered for the award, and no more than one honoree in each community was selected based on the judges’ combined scores.

"Despite personal challenges, each of the award recipients has inspired those around her and has made a meaningful impact in the lives of others," said AK Steel Chairman, President and CEO James L. Wainscott.  "Through the company's foundation, we are proud to sponsor the Steel Magnolia Awards.”

Middletown Community Foundation Executive Director T. Duane Gordon noted that this year’s award recipients represent those who put the community’s needs above their own. 

“Their stories and their actions are an inspiration to all of us in the communities they serve,” he said.

Nominees were required to live in the vicinity of an AK Steel facility.   Nominators and nominees did not have to be associated in any way with employees of AK Steel. Each recipient is able to designate an eligible charity of her choice to receive a $1,000 donation in honor of her selection.

Honorees for 2013 were:

Doris Frakes, Rockport, Ind.: Raised by a single father, Frakes has dedicated her life to caring for others, first as a mother and then a grandmother, helping raise two of her grandchildren following the death of their mother from an asthma attack. She also cared for her husband, who began treatment for melanoma in 2005 but after surviving that cancer was later diagnosed last year with lymphoma and bone cancer, from which he is currently in remission.

She volunteers at St. Bernard School teaching a computer class and assisting in the office, helps organize the annual fair hosted by the Chamber of Commerce, maintains historical markers for the Historical Society and delivers soup and meals to shut-ins, among other charitable works.

Frakes chose for her donation to go to The Way of Rockport, which provides transitional housing, prison outreach, GED classes, addiction recovery services and other programs.

Anita Ream of Shelby, Ohio: Ream faced the unthinkable for a mother when in 2002 her 8-year-old son Mason was diagnosed with a rare and aggressive stage 4 cancer, neuroblastoma, while she herself was battling lymphoma and nursing her husband back to health from a quadruple bypass. Although she and her husband survived, their son lost his battle with cancer at the age of 12 in 2006, transforming Anita into a passionate cancer advocate.

She has organized three American Cancer Society Relay for Life events at the local high school, has spoken at local Livestrong fundraisers and has raised funds for pediatric cancer research through the St. Baldrick’s Foundation. She also created an educational scholarship in memory of her son for graduating seniors in Shelby.

Ream chose for her donation to go to the Mason Ream Memorial Scholarship at the Shelby Foundation in memory of her son.

Judy Rolph of Middletown, Ohio: Rolph has helped provide care for her elderly parents, her disabled husband, her adult children, and her grandchildren, having lost her eldest daughter suddenly two years ago. She is regarded as a cornerstone of her local church, helping others any way she can even while her own family sometimes struggles financially.

As she herself battles breast cancer, she continues to work daily at a local physicians’ practice “with no hair but fancy earrings” as her co-workers described her in their nomination, “an example for all of us of how to face adversity with class, strength, determination and joy.”

Each recipient is able to designate an eligible charity of her choice to receive a $1,000 donation in honor of her selection. Rolph chose Women’s Health Issues In Miami Valley Sisterhood (WHIIMS), saying that the organization, which aids local women in receiving medical care, assisted her in her time of need.

Ann Wiseman of Ashland, Ky.: She was forced to retire as a nurse following several surgeries resulting from severe arthritis including four knee replacements and six back procedures. Even so, she remains one of the community’s leading volunteers, having been president of the Lions Club, organizer for two food drives at the Community Kitchen, moderator of the Presbyterian church’s women’s group, county secretary for the Extension Service’s homemaker’s group and a fundraiser for the Highlands Museum.

As her husband, James, put it in his nomination of her, she faces her daily challenges “with compassion, optimism and enthusiasm.”