BROOKINGS – Mayor Keith Corbett will give awards and recognition to community members during the 2019 Mayor’s Awards ceremony on Thursday.

Each year the mayor presents awards to individuals and organizations that have gone above and beyond in their contributions and commitment to what makes Brookings great. Each awardee brings a unique set of values, innovative ideas and inspiration to the community and its mission to “Bring Your Dreams.” 

The City of Brookings 2019 Mayor’s Awards event will take place from 5-7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 26, at the McCrory Gardens Education & Visitor Center with the program to commence at 5:30 p.m. The dress code for the event is business casual. Hors d’oeuvres and refreshments will be served. The public is welcome to attend.

Awards and recognition will be given to winners in the following categories:

Mayor’s Awards for Historic Preservation

• Gold Medal Gymnastics: Excellence in Rehabilitation Category

• Thomas and Jeanne Manzer: Stewardship Category

• Shari Thornes: Mary McClure Bibby Lifetime Achievement Category

These awards recognize significant achievements in historic preservation in the City of Brookings and seek to inspire others to preserve, protect and promote historic resources.

The Excellence in Rehabilitation Category recognizes projects which make compatible use of a building through repair, alterations or additions while preserving features of the property which convey its historical value. Nominees in this category must demonstrate how their restoration or rehabilitation of a historic property was a laudable effort using the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Historic Preservation, or they achieved a satisfactory result by going over and beyond the typically accepted practices.

The Stewardship Category recognizes those who have ensured the preservation of historic properties through long-term care and maintenance, stabilization, protection or continuous family ownership.

The Mary McClure Bibby Lifetime Achievement Category recognizes an individual who has championed historic preservation, planning, or public policy in the City of Brookings.

Dorothy and Eugene T. Butler Human Rights Award

• Akimoto and Tomoko Ichinomiya

The mayor presents this award to the person(s) who have contributed to advancing the cause of human rights. The award bears the name of the first recipients, Dorothy and Eugene T. Butler. The Butlers were recognized for their lifelong advocacy for human rights issues on local, regional and national levels.

Mayor’s Awards for Sustainability

• The Carrot Seed Kitchen Co.: Social/Quality of Life Category

• South Dakota State University Photovoltaics Project: Environmental Resilience Category

This honor recognizes excellence in sustainable practices demonstrated by local businesses, organizations and individuals while promoting a culture of resiliency. Award winners embrace and promote an approach to business and daily living that balances environmental responsibility, economic prosperity and community equity.

The Social/Quality of Life Category illuminates projects and programs which focus on sustainability and social benefits. These efforts help to ensure that all Brookings residents gain quality of life improvements through programs such as education, food security, affordable housing or health and wellness.

The Environmental Resilience Category focuses on environmental infrastructure, conservation or resource management, such as environmental protection, water, energy, or waste.

Mayor’s Able Award 

• Brookings Area Transit Authority, Inc.

This award honors those who strive for “Ability, Belief, Leadership and Equality to Achieve Access for All.” The city recognizes the outstanding commitment of a business or public entity in fulfilling the goals of the Americans with Disabilities Act providing improved accessibility to goods and services.

Mayor’s Generational Leadership Award

• Kyle Bender

This honor recognizes the importance of young leaders who make a community vibrant and dynamic. It is given to an individual 35 years old or younger who has affected the community in the following ways: positively changes how we think about our community and city, helps Brookings attract and retain young professionals and families, motivates new generations to be active in their communities, contributes to the advancement and well-being of Brookings through service in areas such as: education, sports, fund-raising, charitable-voluntary service, economic development, arts, and the environment.

This event is sponsored by the City of Brookings in collaboration with Mayor Keith Corbett.

For further information, contact Acting City Clerk Bonnie Foster at 692-6281 or

COURTESY OF: The Brookings Register

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