SEBRING — The ticket deadline for this year’s Highlander Awards banquet is drawing close. With AdventHealth Heartland Region serving as the event title sponsor and the Highlands News-Sun serving as host, the Highlander Awards Banquet on Thursday, July 18 promises to be a great evening. Guests have until 5 p.m. Tuesday to purchase their tickets.
Highlands News-Sun solicited the public to nominate those special individuals in the community who humbly give every day. An astounding number of nominations were collected and all of those nominations are in the final selection phase of the awards. The award recipients and finalists were decided not by the number of votes received for an individual but by the description put together by people in the community of why these nominees are worthy of the title.
Thirteen category sponsors will join in the festivities to recognize the 54 individuals nominated for one of the 18 awards to be given out. Just like last year, the winners of the awards will remain sealed until the night of the awards presentation.
The categories, the sponsors and the finalists in each are as follows:
• Terri Bates, Dr. Jacob Hinds and Jose R. Ibanez for Agriculture Person of the Year, sponsored by Highlands Urgent Care.
• Tim Bowers, Mark A. Colbert and Stacy Rockwood for Educator of the Year, sponsored by Highlands Urgent Care.
• Stacey Pugh Clogston, Jane Goodlett, and Carolyn Shoemaker for Female Coach of the Year, sponsored by Bugs Bee-Ware Exterminating.
• Jason Biance, Edward Burnside and Alan Holmes for Financial Representative of the Year, sponsored by Superior Concrete Decor.
• James Baker, James Fansler, and Lance DuVall for First Responder of the Year, sponsored by McPhail’s Auto Sales.
• Tosin Awomewe, Ed Brown, and Princeton Harris for Male Coach of the Year, sponsored by Curb n’ Scape — Curbing & Landscaping.
• Bill Brantley, Tom Duncan and Paul Scruton for Man of the Year, sponsored by Alan Jay Automotive Network.
• Monica Kelly, Zoila Leon and Cori Whitehouse for Nurse of the Year, sponsored by AdventHealth.
• Bill Jarrett, Dr. Vinod Thakkar, and Alan Jay Wildstein as Philanthropist of the Year, sponsored by Jessica Hartline Allstate Insurance.
• Dr. Syed Ahmed, Dr. George W. Ibrahim, and Dr. Antonio Road as Physician of the Year, sponsored by AdventHealth.
• Tom Barrett, Laura Shirley, and Debra Worley as Real Estate Person of the Year, sponsored by The MidFlorida Mortgage Center.
• Bob Dygert, Jerry Meisenheimer, and Marge Schoofs as Senior Citizen of the Year, sponsored by The Palms of Sebring.
• Dr. Anthony J. Arciola, Dr. Placido Roquiz, and Dr. Thomas Shimshak as Surgeon of the Year, sponsored by AdventHealth.
• Lauren Chapman, Taylor Lilpop, and Amy Schlosser as Teen of the Year, sponsored by Champion for Children Foundation.
• The late Marvin Desselle, Lionel LaGrow Jr., and John Vawter as Veteran of the Year, sponsored by Family Elder Law.
• Elsie Howe, Lois Lewis and Richard Trumble as Volunteer of the Year, sponsored by The Palms of Sebring.
• Diana Albritton, Sandy Hinman, and Eileen May as Woman of the Year, sponsored by Alan Jay Automotive Network.
• Champion for Children, Children’s Museum of the Highlands, and Highway Park Neighborhood Council as 501( c)3 of the Year, sponsored by Lakeshore Mall.
The Highlander Awards will be presented at a banquet that gets under way at 6 p.m. Thursday, July 18 at Seven Sebring Raceway Hotel. The attire for the evening is business casual.
Tickets are $64.50 each and must be purchased by 5 p.m. Tuesday by calling the Highlands News-Sun office at 863-385-6155.