Mayor Nan Whaley announces six winners of the 2019 Dayton Mayor’s Award, celebrating people and organizations that make Dayton thrive. Award winners were nominated by the community, selected by a committee, and may designate a non-profit organization to receive a $1,000 donation.
The award categories and honorees are:
Community Service (two winners): Families of Addicts and Melissa Rodriguez
This award celebrates individuals or organizations supporting and promoting service to the community. Families of Addicts is a nationally recognized support organization that emerged from the opioid addiction crisis, providing information, referrals, resources, meetings, a community rally and more. Melissa Rodriquez is an activist and volunteer who, in addition to supporting a number of causes and communities, responded with determination and compassion to the tornado, hate group rally and mass shooting event.
Giving Back to Neighborhoods (two winners): Gwen Buchanan and Twin Towers Neighborhood Association
This award recognizes an individual or community group supporting and inspiring their neighborhood. As president of the Carillon Civic Council, Gwen Buchanan facilitated a productive dialogue among residents and OneFifteen, an addiction treatment campus now under construction, and is leading the creation of a long-term redevelopment plan for the Carillon-Edgemont area. The Twin Towers Neighborhood Association, with the leadership of Leslie Sheward, has successfully tackled long-standing problems through plenty of hands-on work and collaboration with the City of Dayton and community groups.
Education Champion: Lisa Babb
This award recognizes an organization or person working to provide a brighter future for Dayton’s children. As Miami Valley strategic director of 4C for Children, Lisa Babb leads a staff that works to help parents choose high-quality early childhood education and to help providers deliver high-quality learning programs.
Daytonian of the Year: You, Me, Us (Citizens of Dayton)
This award honors an individual making the greatest contribution to Dayton in the previous year. For 2019, a year of great challenge, Dayton’s citizens are recognized for their resilience, generosity and demonstrated commitment to helping others.
The awards were presented at the Feb. 5 City Commission meeting.