COUNTING ON GOOD HEARTS: Foundation honors community members for their service

COLUMBIA CITY — The Whitley County Community Foundation held its 17th Annual Heart of Gold awards ceremony last night to recognize county residents who have given back to the community.The foundation’s Executive Director September McConnell said, “This has been a very good year. This night is a chance for us to say ‘thank you’ to all of you who help make Whitley County a better place to live.”Thirteen Heart of Gold recipients received gold medallions, a certificate and $100 to be awarded to the charity of their choosing.Nominations were made on behalf of the recipients by people in the community who wanted to applaud the efforts made by these volunteers and community leaders. The Heart of Gold Recipients included:•Beth Sickafoose, nominated by Becky Curless, for her work with 4-H. Curless wrote, “Beth does for others on a daily basis, all without seeking recognition from others.”•Bobbie and Hal Trump were nominated by Pat Loe for the volunteer work they do at Woodland Senior Center. Loe said, “They are the first to arrive and the last to leave.”•Brenna Halferty, Elaine Horn, Kaycee Bills, Loryn Usher, Miranda McConnell and Sarah Horn were all nominated by Vanessa Bills. The group of girls were recognized for their volunteer coaching assistance with Whitley County Dazzlers, a special needs cheerleading group. Bills wrote, “Thank you for your help, for your mentoring and for your compassion.”•Erica Miller, nominated by David Wood and Daniel Heise, was recognized for her initiative to launch an early childhood learning program with the Whitley County Post & Mail photo / Christie BarkleyThe Whitley County Community Foundation held its annual event Thursday night to recognize those in Whitley County who go “above and beyond” in giving back to the community. Pictured is Sandy Kohut (left) and Shawn Ellis who were both honored at the ceremony.