This year may be different in many ways, but it has never been more important to continue the tradition of honoring the members of our community who selflessly give back.
Each Year, the Venango Area Chamber of Commerce recognizes the Citizen of the Year, and this year we are excited to announce our 2020 Citizen of the Year as Lisa Winger.
In her nomination, words to describe Lisa include “impeccable character,” “highly respected,” “leader,” and “selfless.”
“There is no one more deserving of the Citizen of the Year Award than Lisa,” said Heather Motter, teacher at Cranberry High School and friend of Lisa. “She works tirelessly for Venango County and dedicates herself to everything she does.”
Upon starting at her current job at AseraCare Hospice, Lisa was determined to bring their services to Venango County. In her position, she is known to bring compassion and comfort, as well as professional advice, to those she serves.
“Her stunning personality brightens the day of all those she encounters and she is a shining example of what makes our area so special,” said Scott Stahl, principal at Oil City High School. “One hopes to have someone like Lisa in their life. I cannot think of anymore more selfless and deserving of such an honor.”
Lisa has facilitated an Alzheimer’s Support Group at the Oil City YWCA, where she used her experience to help those going through difficult times. She has also been the Venango County Toys for Tots Program Coordinator since 2014. The program did not exist in our county, so Lisa and her family created the campaign here.
The Oil City vs. Cancer fundraiser in 2019, held to benefit local residents battling cancer, was another way Lisa gave her time to help those in need. As a committee member, she reached out to businesses and solicited donations and sponsorships, going to the Kirtland Foundation.
Other ways Lisa has been involved with local organizations and events include serving as co-chairperson of the Walk to End Alzheimer’s, volunteer for White Out basketball games, member of both Zonta Club of Oil City-Franklin and Oil City Rotary, and president of the Oil City VFW Post 464 Auxiliary.
“I started to volunteer because I wanted to help the community where my daughter was growing up,” said Lisa. “I am incredibly honored by this recognition, and want to be sure to thank the many people who work just as hard volunteering alongside me.”
While we will not have the opportunity to gather for our Annual Dinner and Recognition Celebration in February, we will be sharing more about Lisa and her accomplishments in upcoming months, and she will be included as an honored guest at our 2022 Annual Dinner.
The 2021 Annual Dinner and Recognition will look a bit different this year. There will not be a dinner. We’re making a shift from our usual designations of Business and Partner of the Year, instead taking the opportunity to recognize community heroes.
We believe that the best approach to 2021 is one of gratitude and positive spirit.
We want to lift up and recognize those who have served us so well, making Venango County a better place to live, even in a pandemic. These are Venango’s Heroes.
What is a hero? Someone who, in the face of danger, combats adversity through feats of ingenuity, courage, or strength, and those who perform great deeds or selfless acts for the common good.
Who is your local hero? It may be a teacher, a nurse or any frontline worker, but it also may be a neighbor, an employee (or employer), a small business owner, or a friend. Heroes can be individuals or whole organizations making a difference here, like a business or nonprofit.
We’ll provide a few examples, but we need to hear from you. You can submit a name, a few sentences, and your hero’s contact information. We’ll also need a photo of them, so we’ll want their permission. We’ll be sharing our region’s heroes in our newsletter, website, social media, and through the local media.
Support the Community Heroes campaign by submitting a nomination and/or through sponsorship.
Visit venangoheroes.org for more details.
This article was published in the Venango Chamber’s January 2021 VenangoWorks! Newsletter.