Bentonville, AR...Mayor McCaslin is pleased to announce the 2018 first quarter winners of the Mayor’s Outstanding Citizen Award are: Sadie Cunningham, Karilea Magee and the Kodak Alaris team.
Sadie Cunningham was nominated by Ruth Keeley. Sadie is a junior at Bentonville West High School (BWHS). Sadie has served as a member of Student Council for the past two years. Ms. Keeley remarks that Sadie is a solid conscientious student who participates in the Ignite – Media Communication and Studio Art program. Ms. Keeley says while others talk a good game and make grand plans, it is Sadie, working quietly behind the scenes, making it happen and never taking personal credit. Ms. Keeley comments that in addition to Sadie’s involvement at BWHS, she is also involved with her church and volunteering in the community. Zachary Jostad, Student Council teacher advisor also commented that Sadie is the type of student who makes a plan to get things done and then makes it happen. Ms. Bartmeier, Sadie’s Ignite teacher, said, “Sadie has devoted countless hours of service to the community through Photography and Graphic Design, by creating senior banners for the BWHS baseball team, football game day graphics, t-shirt designs for BWHS choir, and coordinated photography for Ms. BHS.” Ms. Bartmier confirms that Sadie is an active member of her church serving in many roles from working in childcare, to helping lead worship, as well as doing photography and graphic work for them. She adds that Sadie is truly an outstanding young lady. Ms. Keeley closed the nomination with this comment: Sadie is an extraordinary young woman, who walks through her life in humility and grace always seeking ways to enrich the lives of all around her.
In nominating Karilea Magee for the Outstanding Citizen Award, Lana McCaslin wrote the following: “I have known Karilea since moving to Bentonville in 1996. Karilea has modeled giving-back to her community for all of those years. She passionately served at First Baptist Church of Bentonville in a wide variety of community endeavors. Two of those, the Christmas toy giveaway and the annual mission trip to Wilmot, Arkansas remain regulars in her busy schedule. Additionally, Karilea spent many hours working as a member of the Bentonville Band Booster Club when her boys were in the BPS band program. Today, Karilea is active in volunteer activities at Havenwood, Soul’s Harbor, Habitat for Humanity, Pug Rescue of NWA and her newest passion, Healing Gardens of NWA. Karilea Magee personifies what an outstanding citizen does in their local community.”
Devin Boggs Riley, Volunteer Manager at NWA Children’s Shelter nominated Walt Parsons and the team at Kodak Alaris. Mr. Riley says that the Kodak Alaris team has been serving the kids at NWA Children’s Shelter for many years by generously donating their time, their equipment, and most importantly their talents in various ways to support the work that is done at NWA Children’s Shelter. This small but mighty team works quietly many times throughout the year in the background to support the efforts of the staff at the Shelter. He states that they are at every Starlight Gala, photographing the guests and gifting them with beautiful momentos of their evening. They also spend countless hours curating photos taken at the Children’s Shelter during the year to create one-of-a-kind photo albums as gifts for our donors. During the summer, they are onsite during Art Camp where they supply the equipment needed for Photography Day. The kids are given cameras to take out on the property to photograph their beautiful surroundings. Afterwards, the kids are instructed on how to use special equipment to edit their shots and create a very special photo album. The kids are so proud of their work, often stopping staff in the hallways to show off their newly discovered talents. Mr. Riley comments that the most significant gift they give the kids is professional quality photos during the holidays. The team comes one Saturday in December to photograph the kids in their new holiday outfits. They patiently photograph each child, and then invite all the siblings to join in the photograph for a family photo, then they allow each child to choose their favorite shots to be printed. Every child receives multiple photos they can frame or give as gifts. These rare family photos are a gift our residents will treasure for a lifetime. Mr. Riley closes his nomination with these words: Walt Parsons and the team at Kodak do all of this for the Children’s Shelter because they genuinely care about our kids. Their work is motivated by a sincere desire to bring a little light into an otherwise dark situation. We are extraordinarily grateful for each person on this team, and we appreciate the opportunity to bring their work to the attention of the Mayor’s office.
The Outstanding Citizen Award program was initiated in January 2011 to recognize the exceptional volunteer contributions of Bentonville residents. There are three award categories: adult, youth and community group. Second quarter 2018 nominations will be accepted through June 15. To obtain a nomination form and additional information, please visit the City’s website at www.bentonvillear.com.