Nominations sought for Person of the Year, Young Community Leader, Frances Crowe awards

  • Frances Crowe at her home in Northampton on March 4, 2019. GAZETTE FILE PHOTO

Staff Writer
Published: 4/18/2021 8:30:00 PM

NORTHAMPTON — It’s awards season at the Daily Hampshire Gazette.

In partnership with the United Way of Hampshire County, the Gazette is now accepting nominations for its three annual awards: the Person of the Year award, Young Community Leader award and the second annual Frances Crowe award.

The Person of the Year award honors a Hampshire County resident who has gone above and beyond to make the Pioneer Valley a better place. The Young Community Leader Award recognizes a county resident between the ages of 15 and 30 who has contributed through community involvement and volunteerism.

In its second year, the Frances Crowe award honors the legacy of legendary Northampton activist Frances Crowe. The award is intended for someone who represents the essence of Crowe’s legacy and who has a documented history of inspiring the next generation of changemakers whether through anti-war, educational, low-impact environmental causes or advocating for women and children.

Nominations must be received before Friday, April 30. Submissions can be made at

A committee of Gazette, United Way and community leaders review all nominations. Winners are announced in the Gazette and will be celebrated at the virtual United Way of Hampshire County Annual Celebration the morning of June 8, 2021.

Stephanie Hadley, the Gazette’s sales operation director, said that the newspaper’s partnership with United Way means even more than usual in 2021.

“Over the last year we’ve heard countless stories of individuals, organizations and essential workers who stepped up during the pandemic to either protect or support others,” Hadley said. “That’s what these awards are all about — recognizing some of our most outstanding citizens. People who make a difference in the Pioneer Valley.”

The Person of the Year award comes with a $500 prize, half of which is donated to a charity of the winner’s choice. The Young Community Leader will receive a $250 prize, half of which is donated to a charity of choice. And the Frances Crowe recipient’s $500 prize is donated to a cause of their choice.

The awards were first given out in 2015, when the Person of the Year honor was first introduced. In addition to Crowe, past recipients include: anti-racist activist Stephany Marryshow; Jack Finn, founder of the A2z Science and Learning Store; Yvonne Freccero, an advocate for those experiencing homelessness and past president of Friends of Hampshire County Homeless Individuals; and Barbara Black, early childhood coordinator for Northampton Public Schools.

The Young Community Leader honor, launched in 2017, was awarded last year to Mathieu Johnson, the 17-year-old Florence resident who during the COVID-19 pandemic raised money to create 2,000 face shields for local hospitals, nursing homes, grocery stores and homeless shelters using a 3D printer at his family home.

Hadley said that this year, she hopes there will be a renewed appreciation for the people and organizations who took steps to make a positive impact in the community.

“The pandemic served so many difficulties and challenges,” she said. “Taking the time to express an appreciation for one another brings a community together. It gives us a heartfelt reason to celebrate.”

Dusty Christensen can be reached at
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