by Jenny Coyle
Once a year, the mailbox in front of Ellen Mayou's home in Grapevine, Texas, spills
over with letters outlining the hard work and accomplishments of Sierra Club volunteers
around the country.
That's because for four years Mayou has held what she calls the most inspiring
volunteer position in the Club - chair of the Honors and Awards Committee.
"It always amazes me to read the nominations for people who are doing such
effective work on behalf of the environment," said Mayou, who handles the application
and selection process along with committee members Sandy Miles of Indiana, and Letty
French and Sherri Lipman of California.
And it's time to put the committee to work once again. They're calling for nominations
of deserving Club volunteers to receive national awards in various categories. Winners get
a trip to San Francisco to be feted at the Club's annual dinner, and in some cases receive
Relatively new awards include the One Club Award, which honors a volunteer who has used
Club outings as a way to protect or improve public lands, instill an interest in
conservation, increase membership in the Sierra Club or increase awareness of the
organization. There's also the Electronic Communication Award that honors the best Web
page or other use of electronic communications. Also fairly new is the Joseph Barbosa
Earth Fund Award, which recognizes Club volunteers under 30 who have demonstrated a record
of service to the environment.
More longstanding awards include the John Muir Award, considered the Club's highest
award, which recognizes a distinguished record of leadership in national or international
"There are numerous categories, and we encourage members to nominate deserving
volunteers by the June 1 deadline," said Mayou, who said she now prefers that
nominations flood her "virtual mailbox" - by e-mail. Most awards will be
presented at the Sierra Club Annual Dinner on Sept. 23 in San Francisco.
Information on all of the awards and printable nomination forms are available on our honors and awards site, or by contacting Ellen Mayou at firstname.lastname@example.org;
(817) 283-5489. Also, contact Mayou to find out about becoming a member of the Honors and
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