Who will be the 2018 Cen­tral Florid­ian of the Year? We’re lis­ten­ing

Orlando Sentinel (Sunday) - - OPINION - Twine­ford­ner@or­lan­dosen­tinel.com

In Cen­tral Florida, we know there's more to feel­ing rich than hit­ting the Mega Mil­lions or Power­ball lot­tery jack­pot. Our riches lie in the peo­ple who work to keep our re­gion thriv­ing … who stand up for those who can­not … who run to­ward the fight and not away from it … who see a need and strive to fill it.

You'll find them in every sec­tor of the com­mu­nity – and even next door in your neigh­bor­hood. And you might just find them fea­tured in the Or­lando Sentinel. Every year since 1983, the Sentinel's Ed­i­to­rial Board has rec­og­nized an in­di­vid­ual or group for out­stand­ing ser­vice, ini­tially con­sid­er­ing can­di­dates statewide and then nar­row­ing to our re­gion.

We call this hon­oree the Cen­tral Florid­ian of the Year, and we in­vite you to help us choose our 2018 re­cip­i­ent.

In 2017, we named Dave Green Cen­tral Florid­ian of the Year. The CEO of Feed­ing Chil­dren Ev­ery­where, Green led an ef­fort to pro­vide more than 1.6 mil­lion meals to Florid­i­ans in the af­ter­math of Hur­ri­cane Irma and over­saw more than 54,000 vol­un­teers who packed 4.4 mil­lion meals for Puerto Rico in just 19 days in Hur­ri­cane Maria's af­ter­math.

In 2016, the year that Or­lando be­came known as the site of the worst mass killing in mod­ern his­tory, the Emer­gency Medicine and Trauma Teams at Or­lando Re­gional Med­i­cal Cen­ter saved lives af­ter the Pulse night­club shoot­ing. They were the 2016 Cen­tral Florid­i­ans of the Year.

Other hon­orees through the years have in­cluded the late Har­ri­ett Lake, who gave mil­lions of dol­lars over decades to the arts (2014); Michael Dippy, who founded iDig­nity to help home­less peo­ple es­tab­lish iden­tity pa­pers to restart their lives (2010); the Apopka Lit­tle League team, for win­ning the na­tional cham­pi­onship and unit­ing the re­gion (2001); all the way to Mar­jory Stone­man Dou­glas, our first de­signee in 1983, for her ef­forts to save the Ever­glades.

If you know some­one who de­serves to be rec­og­nized, tell us who it is and what they've done for our re­gion. Our choice will be guided by how strong a case can be made for can­di­dates, not by the num­ber of nom­i­na­tions they re­ceive, so be thor­ough in your sub­mis­sion.

We'll se­lect five fi­nal­ists and then choose one from among them to be the 2018 Cen­tral Florid­ian of the Year. Here's how to sub­mit your nom­i­na­tion:

Visit our web­site, https:// bit.ly/2O7C22T; send email to in­sight@or­lan­dosen­tinel.com (put CFOTY in the sub­ject line); or mail nom­i­na­tions to Ed­i­to­rial Board CFOTY, Or­lando Sentinel, 633 N. Or­ange Ave., MP-218, Or­lando, FL 3281. The dead­line for nom­i­na­tions is Dec. 15.

You can see our gallery of win­ners on our web­site at https:// bit.ly/2Q3HQfO.

CHAN LOWE/OR­LANDO SENTINEL

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