COLUMBIA CITY — The Community Foundation is ready to celebrate and honor Whitley County’s greatest asset — its caring people — through its 22nd annual Heart of Gold Awards.

Created to recognize “everyday” folks in the community who make Whitley County a better place to live through their simple acts of kindness, the Heart of Gold Awards have become an annual tradition and a meaningful way to recognize our unsung heroes.

Heart of Gold nominees are often recognized for acts of service that may largely go unnoticed and include, but aren’t limited to, acts such as helping senior citizens, assisting disadvantaged people, volunteering for a nonprofit, working to improve the quality of education, expanding cultural and recreational activities, protecting the environment and promoting health and safety.

Do you know someone with a heart of gold who deserves a special thank you? Any Whitley County resident can nominate another for the meaningful recognition.

“This isn’t a writing contest; just let us know about your nominee and how they enhance the lives of others,” September McConnell, executive director, said.

Past recipients range in age from 8 to 80 and include students, homemakers, teachers, snow shovelers and physicians. Each Heart of Gold nominee will receive an engraved medallion during an awards reception on Nov. 15 at the Eagle’s Nest Event Center.

It’s at this event that honorees will learn who nominated them. Three overall winners will be selected and have the opportunity to direct a $1,000 grant to the Whitley County charity of their choice.

Nominations can be submitted via the Community Foundation’s website at The deadline for receiving applications is Oct. 22. For additional information or for assistance in filling out a nomination form, contact the Community Foundation at 244-5224.