OWN to give winners prizes in this year’s Spirit Awards

       Hoping to attract more nominations for the event, the Organization of Westside Neighbors (OWN) will offer prizes this year to winners in its annual Spirit Awards.
       The competition, started in 2005, recognizes owners of residential or business properties who have improved them in different ways.
       The categories are:
       Historic Preservation, New Construction, Exterior Remodel/ Addition, Curb Appeal/ Landscaping and (businesses only) Signage.
       People can nominate their own properties or someone else's. The project needs to be within the older Westside Neighborhood Strategy Area (NSA) for which OWN is the city-recognized advocacy group. The deadline is Oct. 23.
       According to OWN board member Bunny Blaha, chief event organizer, 17 businesses have pledged so far to provide gifts for winners and placers in this year's event. In the past, those recognized have received plaques.
       Last year's Spirit Awards attracted a total of 12 entrants in eight of the nine categories. Each entrant was recognized.
       While believing the event has proven reasonably popular, OWN board members agreed at a recent meeting to request merchant gift donations so as to stimulate people who have worked hard on their properties but might otherwise not go through the Spirit Awards nominating process (which requires filling out a form, briefly explaining the project and providing photos).
       For example, since early 2007, the Westside Pioneer has reported on 11 property upgrades within the Westside NSA that have not yet been nominated for Spirit Awards.
       Judging is by local residents - usually including elected officials such as City Council members. This year's presentation is scheduled Nov. 13.
       For more information, call Blaha at 471-8527 or e-mail info@westsideneighbors.org.

Westside Pioneer article