MOUNT GILEAD — Village Council recognized three outstanding citizens — Rita Barton, Stan Sipe and Bradley Wood — for the annual Dr. Nathan Tucker Award prior to its Aug. 16 meeting at village hall.
“Many Morrow County residents have benefitted from Rita’s many years of service to the community,” Jeanine Girard wrote on the nomination form.
Barton is President of the Chester Arbor Gleaners and has been recognized for her hours of service. She also serves on the Seniors on Center and numerous other organizations.
“She is more than a figurehead or just involved in name only. She is fully committed by attending all meetings, supporting their events and cheering them on.”
She has been active in the American Red Cross, serving as Director of the Morrow County Chapter for 9 years. She was the recipient of the prestigious Clara Barton Award, the highest honor one can be bestowed in the organization.
Barton worked for the Morrow County Health District for more than 18 years in charge of recycling and promoting various programs.
“She is very low key and humble … not about photo ops or receiving accolades,” Girard said.
The second winner knows a great deal about Morrow County history.
“In fact, if Mount Gilead had an official historian, it would be Stan Sipe,” Ann Artrip said in nominating him.
“Stan loves to research Morrow County and its history. The Morrow County Genealogical Society has more than 35 binders researched, compiled and hand-written by Stan, including 6 binders of Mount Glead history divided into different time periods and topics.”
He serves as treasurer of that group and historian of the Morrow County Historical Society. He is always happy to share his research.
“His efforts independently and on behalf of these two groups helped to preserve Mount Gilead’s legacy for countless generations to come,” Artrip concluded.
The third award winner is well known in the community.
“You probably know — or bumped into — Brad Wood around town,” wrote CJ Miller and Michael Patterson, Morrow County Hospital executives, in making the nomination.
Wood has served as Chairman of the hospital’s Board of Trustees.
“His commitment to humbly and genuinely serving others and bringing on positive change is unparalleled. He is a shining example of how one person can make a difference.”
He has served on the Mount Gilead Board of Education for 8 years, including as President. He also served on the village’s Parks and Recreation Board and helped start the youth soccer program, coach soccer and baseball teams and build tennis courts for public use.
“For years, Brad has worked to improve our hospital system and connect people with the preventative wellness care they need.”
A lifetime member of First Baptist Church, Wood has been a deacon and taught Sunday school classes. He has been married to Rita for 47 years, has three children and nine grandchildren.
This award is presented to an individual who makes Mount Gilead a better place to live.
“This person is someone who shows dedication through volunteerism, project and other activities to the community,” according to the village.