On Saturday, the Imlay City Chamber of Commerce took time to celebrate the people and organizations who’ve contributed their time and efforts to the community in meaningful ways.

Since 1974, the chamber has named a Citizen of the Year annually. Just over a decade later, in 1987, they added to the awards programming with the Merit Award and Organization of the Year accolades.

Honored as 2021 award recipients were Citizen of the Year Sharon Muir, Merit Award recipient John Powell and the Imlay City First Congregational United Church of Christ as Organization of the Year. Muir was recognized for her nearly 20 years of continued service on the Imlay City School Board, plus her involvement in a number of other church and community groups. Nominators thanked Powell for his years of service to making Chamber events possible, including lots of behind-the-scenes contributions at the most recent Sesquicentennial. The church has one of the longest running food pantry programs in Imlay City and coordinates many other events to minister to the community.

The chamber’s tradition of recognizing these individuals and organizations is very worthy and admirable. Being intentional in celebrating the good around us is not extravagant but essential for showing gratitude to those who make the extra effort for the benefit of others. When honorees share their stories and motivations for doing what they do, it should inspire others to contribute what they can.

Likewise other communities in the Tri-City area should consider doing something similar to publicly recognize the people and groups who generously serve their friends and neighbors.