Nominations are now open for the 2020 Union County Man and Woman of the Year Awards, according to a spokesperson for the awards committee. Two Union County residents will be selected for the honors based on nominations submitted by employers, co-workers, associates and friends.

The 2019 award recipients were Denise Milliken and George Massey.

The award is based strictly on volunteerism within the county and not on what an individual does as part of his or her job. Too, selections are based on “hands-on involvement” that extends to the leadership level as opposed to financial contributions.

According to the release, men and women who make a difference for Union County and its citizens are individuals who should be nominated. Potential nominees, according the the release, have sacrificed their time and energy to benefit Union County and make a difference while volunteering with heart and hands.

Previous recipients are asking the public to help select this year’s award winners by nominating fellow citizens whose efforts have made a positive impact in Union County.

According to the release, the award started in 1958 when the Union County Chamber of Commerce wanted to recognize volunteer activity to enhance jobs in Union County. At that time the Chamber voted to name a Man of the Year for outstanding community involvement and leadership.

Dr. Paul Helms was the first man to be recognized. Three years later, the Chamber turned the selection process over to past award winners. In all, 62 men have been honored with the award.

In 1985, the Chamber selected Ruth Sikes Haigler as the first Woman of the Year recipient for her outstanding volunteer service and for the next few years selected additional deserving women.

As with the Man of the Year award, the Chamber later turned the selection process over to previous recipients to carry the program forward. To date, 35 women have been honored.

Nomination forms focus on current and long-term volunteer contributions to Union County, demonstrated leadership and outcomes of the nominee’s efforts. Forms can be downloaded at Deadline for nominations is November 2nd.

Recipients will be honored at an event planned for early next year. For more information, call (704) 993-8862 or email jessef