Nominees sought for alumni award 12.16

Written by David Green.

The Morenci Education Foundation is seeking nominations for this year’s Distinguished Alumni Award, and the committee in charge is hoping to make the process easier.

Foundation board member Barb Vallieu worked with students from the high school Volunteer Club to streamline the process and create a nomination form. The form will soon be available as a PDF document to download from the Foundation website ( Copies are also available at the Observer office.

Vallieu is hoping the online option will broaden the geographic area of people participating in the nomination process.

The committee has set a Jan. 31 deadline for nominations. Three or four alumni will be honored at the annual dinner and auction in the spring.

There was no formal set of selection guidelines in the past, Vallieu said.

“Our goal was to set up a system that would honor the process and endure across the years,” she added.

A team of 10 Volunteer Club members will make the final selection from nominees submitted.

“I think the students have done a fine job and have a handle on the responsibility they have undertaken,” Vallieu said.  “It’s been a pleasure working with them.”

The nomination form lists as the purpose of the Distinguished Alumni Award program to recognize the outstanding achievements of graduates of Morenci Area Schools.

To be eligible, an individual must have graduated from Morenci Area Schools at least 10 years ago; should have become outstanding in his/her profession; and should have made significant contributions benefiting his/her community, state and/or nation.

  • Front.poles
    MOVING EAST—Utility workers continue their slow progress east along U.S. 20 south of Morenci. New electrical poles are put in place before wiring is moved into place.
  • Front.cowboy
    A PERFORMER named Biligbaatar, a member of the AnDa Union troupe from Inner Mongolia, dances at Stair District Library last week during a visit to the Midwest. The nine-member group blends a variety of traditions from Inner and Outer Mongolia. The music is described as drawing from “all the Mongol tribes that Genghis Khan unified.” The group considers itself music gatherers whose goal is to preserve traditional sounds of Mongolia. Biligbaatar grew up among traditional herders who live in yurts. Additional photos are on the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.base Ball
    UMPIRE Thomas Henthorn tosses the bat between team captains Mikayla Price and Chuck Piskoti of Flint’s Lumber City Base Ball Club. Following the 1860 rules, after the bat was grabbed by the captains, captains’ hands advanced to the top of the bat—one hand on top of the other. The captain whose hand ended up on top decided who would bat first. Additional photos of Sunday’s game appear on page 12 of this week’s Observer. The contest was organized in conjunction with Stair District Library’s Hometown Teams exhibit that runs through Nov. 20.
    VALUE OF ATHLETICS—Morenci graduate John Bancroft (center) takes a turn at the microphone during a chat session at the opening of the Hometown Teams exhibit at Stair District Library. Clockwise to his left is John Dillon, Jed Hall, Jim Bauer, Joe Farquhar, George Hollstein, George Vereecke and Mike McDowell. Thomas Henthorn (at the podium) kicked off the conversation. Henthorn, a University of Michigan–Flint professor, will return to Morenci this Sunday to lead a game of vintage base ball at the school softball field.
  • Front.cross
    HUDSON RUNNER Jacob Morgan looks toward the top of the hill with dismay during the tough finish at Harrison Lake State Park. Fayette runner Jacob Garrow focuses on the summit, also, during the Eagle Invitational cross country run Saturday morning. Continuing rain and drizzle made the course even more challenging. Results of the race are in this week’s Observer.
  • Front.bear
    HOLDEN HUTCHISON gives a hug to a black bear cub—the product of a taxidermist’s skills—at the Michigan DNR’s Great Youth Jamboree. The event on Sunday marked the fourth year of the Jamboree. Additional photos are on page 12.
  • Front.hose Testing
    HOSE safety—The FireCatt hose testing company from Troy put Morenci Fire Department hose to the test Monday morning when Mill Street was closed to traffic. The company also checks nozzles and ladders for wear in an effort to keep fire fighters safe while on calls.

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