Community First Awards to Focus on Service During Pandemic

Community First Awards to Focus on Service During Pandemic

Holly Vincent
Thursday, April 22, 2021 12:00 AM
Community, All

Cleveland State Community College is currently accepting nominations for its Sixth Annual Community First Awards and Gala on Tuesday, September 21 at 6 p.m. at The Barn at Faith Farms in Athens. Each year, this event honors individuals who have a passion for giving back to the communities they serve, but this year there will be a unique twist. This year’s theme will honor those who stood out by putting their community first during the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Great leadership and service can be a challenge even in the best of times, but the pandemic has tested the skills of every community-minded citizen forcing them to face adversity, adapt and find a way to keep moving forward with the new normal,” stated Dr. Bill Seymour, Cleveland State President. “This year, our 2021 Community First Awards will be dedicated specifically to those who exemplified our ideal during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Nominations will be sought in nine different categories: Arts, Business, Education, Public Service, Volunteer Service, Non-Profit Leadership, Healthcare, Student Leadership and Philanthropy. Given this special theme nominations from prior years will not be considered.  Only new nominations will be reviewed by the Selection Committee.

Nominations are open to the public, and the nomination form is available online at until May 31. Although the winners of each category will be announced prior to the event, the college will keep the name of its most prestigious award, the Community First Person of the Year, a surprise until the night of the event.

Past nominations will not be considered this year, only those who stood out during the pandemic.

Anyone living in Cleveland State’s five-county service area is eligible to receive a Community First Award. For more information, contact Cindy Dawson at (423) 614-8700 or email her at

Photo Cutline: The 2019 Community First Award Winners

2019 Gala Winners



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  • Cleveland Bradley Business Incubator
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  • Cleveland State Sustainability Initiative
  • TBR The College System of Tennessee
  • TN eCampus
  • Tennessee Transfer Pathway