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Richardson Real Heroes Program Seeking Selfless Residents Call for entries honoring silent generosity in the City open now through February 12th

RICHARDSON, Texas (January 4, 2012) – With the start of the New Year, a group of Richardson volunteers has begun the process of soliciting nominations for the third annual Richardson Real Heroes Award.

The Real Heroes Award was created  in 2010 to draw attention to individuals who give of their time and talents for the betterment of the Richardson community.

According to Chelsea Schmidt, 2012 Richardson Real Heroes chair, the selection process for this year’s group of finalists and the ultimate Real Hero starts with the all-important nomination.

“From the first two years of the program, we’ve learned that the most critical – and, yet, most challenging – aspect of the program is surfacing nominees,” said Schmidt, a paramedic currently attending nursing school who personally has served in a number of volunteer capacities.  “The committee knows that thousands of people throughout the City of Richardson are making a difference in seemingly countless ways, but the humility that frequently accompanies these volunteers makes it challenging to get their nomination.  That’s why we’re working to encourage anyone in Richardson who is aware of someone who are silently generous with their time and talents to go online and make a nomination.”

Criteria for selection of the 2012 Richardson Real Hero include a review of information provided in each nomination, initial assessment of all nominees by the selection committee, an individual interview between each selected finalist and a member of the selection committee, and popular votes garnered online.

In 2010, a group of ten finalists were interviewed by the inaugural Award committee, from which two award winners – Courtney Scott and George Jones – were named.  Last year, six finalists were chosen, with Lisa Rees selected from among them for the 2011 award.  All selected Real Heroes and each year’s finalists have been recognized for their contributions at receptions held annually at the Richardson Civic Center.

This year, nominees must again represent one of two different categories for entrants: •    Richardson residents who provide unpaid service in an exemplary manner inside or outside of the City •    Non-residents who volunteer their time and talents to benefit Richardson community members

Additionally, candidates should not have received prior recognition for their efforts in the recent past.  Public sector employees are eligible only if the qualifying activity occurs on personal or unpaid time.  Past and present elected officials cannot be recognized for any activity.

Volunteers can nominate themselves or be nominated by another member of the community.  According to Schmidt, the selection committee invites both self-nominations and nominations submitted by another member of the community.

Nominations are now being accepted online at www.richardsonrealhero.org, with the process open through Sunday, February 12.  Public voting on the nominees will begin on Friday, March 2 and will close at 11:59 p.m. on Friday, April 6.  Finalists and the winners will be announced at a special reception to be held in Richardson on April 19.

For more information or to nominate a candidate for the Real Heroes program, visit www.richardsonrealhero.org.

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