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For the second consecutive year, Mon Valley Initiative (MVI) is encouraging residents of Mon Valley communities to nominate their neighbors for a “Community Partner Award.”

Since 1990, the awards have been presented by MVI at its annual dinner in October. Last year’s dinner was held as a virtual event due to the COVID-19 pandemic, said Grant Cole, community outreach specialist. This year’s event will be held as a hybrid event — partially in-person and partially online — on Oct. 21, 2021, Cole said.

Community partner awards are particularly being sought from Belle Vernon, Charleroi, Clairton, Donora, Dravosburg, Duquesne, East McKeesport, Elizabeth, Finleyville, Glassport, Homestead, McKeesport, Monongahela, Munhall, New Eagle, North Versailles Township, Rankin, Rostraver Township, Union Township, West Elizabeth, West Homestead and West Mifflin, but any resident of a community that neighbors the Monongahela River may be nominated.

The deadline is Aug. 15, 2021.

The awards are intended to recognize volunteers and organizations who have gone “above and beyond” to help their neighborhoods or communities over the past 12 months, Cole said. Winners receive a trophy and are spotlighted in a video interview broadcast on the night of the award and posted on social media.

Past recipients of community partner awards have been honored for their efforts to clean up vacant lots, run block-watch programs, opening food pantries and “little libraries,” decorating veteran’s graves and organizing other volunteer efforts, Cole said.

Anyone who works or lives in one of the communities that borders on the Monongahela River may be nominated for a community partner award, he said. Three to five awardees will be selected by the MVI board and staff and their names will be announced in October. Employees and board members of Mon Valley Initiative and their immediate family are not eligible.

To nominate someone for an MVI Community Partner Award, use the form on MVI’s website at www.monvalleyinitiative.com. Include your name, your email address and a daytime phone number where you can be reached for more information. Nominations must be received no later than Aug. 15, 2021.

About Mon Valley Initiative:

Founded in 1988, Mon Valley Initiative is a non-profit regional community development corporation that provides free pre-purchase housing counseling, workforce development & financial coaching, and real estate development services in Allegheny, Washington and Westmoreland counties. Its offices are in Homestead and Charleroi. For more information, visit www.monvalleyinitiative.com.

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