OPELIKA — At last weekend’s Midsummer Market, held at Heritage House in Opelika, business owners Valarie Canady and Dani Nelson honored fellow citizens with the second annual Community Champion Awards.
This year the awards focused on veterans who have brought their training and commitment to country to Opelika, “individuals whose volunteer efforts transcended just a thank you,” according to a press release. The following honorees were provided lunch and special gifts in gratitude for their contributions to the community.
Joseph Murray: Growth/Development Coordinator of Ways2Serve, creator of the Grow Academy, firefighter/paramedic for Valley Fire Department
Tom Tippett: Executive Director of Envision Opelika, President of Christian Care Ministries, member of Lee County Ministers Alliance, Opelika Character Council, One Voice Shelter Group on Homelessness, Lee County Leadership Forum
Tiffany Gibson: Founder and Director of Girl S.T.E.P.S Inc., Executive Board Member for Georgia School Counselor Association, member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Social & Emotional Learning Coordinator for Troup County Schools
Betsy & Mike Akins: Betsy is Project Leader of Caroline Dean Wildflower Trail; Mike is Acting Coordinator of Creekline Trails of Opelika. Honored for their mutual contributions in Opelika trail and environmental volunteer projects
Janataka Holmes: Creator/Producer of Glow for Epilepsy, organizer Opelika Juneteenth Celebration, Opelika Chamber 20 Under 40 Board, Clubhouse Director of Boys & Girls Club
Sarah Barnett Gill: Honored for organizing over 500 donated meals on Thanksgiving of 2023, Host of the Little Free Food Pantry, donations as Mamma Mocha to many community volunteer events.