The awards are presented annually to organizations that meet a community need and promote diversity in each of Cobb’s four commission districts. Groups are considered diverse based on race, age, religion, disability and gender, along with other factors, according to the community relations council.
“Our community works better when it is more connected and there are not groups that are over-served or underserved,” said Patty Smitherman, the council’s chairwoman. “To have a healthy community, we need to recognize the groups that are helping people.”
Residents are asked to nominate organizations to the commissioner that serves the district the agency is located in. A nomination form can be found in the Cobb Community Relations Council section of the county website. Winners will be selected by an evaluation council separate from the main community relations council board.
The deadline for nominations is Jan. 17.
The 2013 dinner will be at an undetermined location in Goreham’s district. The event, which moves between the commission districts, took place this year at Piedmont Church in represented by northeast Cobb Commissioner JoAnn Birrell’s district.
Community relations board member Doris Billups-McClure, principal of Riverside Elementary School in Mableton, said diversity serves an important purpose in Cobb.
“It’s important for us as a community to understand that, as people, we are all different, but we all deserve some of the same things, like quality of life,” she said.
The 2012 winners were Special Needs Development Group in District 1, represented by northwest Cobb Commissioner Helen Goreham; Foundation Masonic Lodge No. 592 in District 2, represented by southeast Cobb Commissioner Bob Ott; Piedmont Church in District 3, represented by Birrell; and Alpha Kappa Alpha/The PEARL Foundation in District 4, represented by southwest Cobb Commissioner Woody Thompson.