America In Bloom’s (AIB) new Community Champion Award honoring OFA’s CEO John Holmes was a big hit this year. Thirty nominations were received for twenty individuals who have been leading AIB efforts in their towns the last eight years. The very first honoree happens to be a grower.
Rick Webb of Webb Perennials in Logan, Ohio, received the John R. Holmes III Community Champion Award on Saturday during the AIB awards banquet in Hershey, Pa. The award recognizes an individual who best exemplifies community leadership through actions that reflect the mission of AIB and demonstrated a vision and selfless commitment to moving the community forward.
“Rick’s work to help a suffering downtown Logan began when our former mayor asked him to plant hanging baskets for the downtown,” nominator Bobbi Bishop says. “When AIB came along, he gathered a group of volunteers to help him beautify the community. He has led us now for six years. We have gone from those initial baskets to baskets plus more than 100 clay tile planters full of flowers. This year, our theme was Paint the Town Pink. We have worked very hard under his leadership to work on all the categories of AIB. As a result, we now have a tree commission and a city council ready to help. … Most any day, Rick can be found hanging student flags, watering the trees that were planted with grant money, heading meetings, developing watering systems, speaking to groups and sharing his pride for the city of Logan. He is our hero.”
The award was established in the memory of Holmes, who died unexpectedly in February. As an AIB board member and officer since the organization’s inception, Holmes was an advocate for city beautification and a believer in the power of flowers and plants to change lives. Contributions to this endowed award may be made to America In Bloom in care of the John R. Holmes III Community Champion Award; 2130 Stella Court; Columbus, Ohio 43215. For more information, visit www.americainbloom.org.