The two aldermen from each ward decide on one (or more) citizens
from their ward who have gone above and beyond to make Lincoln a
better place. The mayor also selects a person from the city on the
whole, whom he wishes to recognize for his or her efforts in the
This year the first award was given from Ward 1. Ward 1 is
represented by aldermen Melody Anderson and Scott Cooper.
Cooper spoke on behalf of Anderson and himself introducing Larry and
Rhea Martincic. “Larry and Rhea have been actively involved in
Together for Lincoln, Habitat for Humanity for which Larry is
currently serving as the board treasurer, and Jefferson Street
Christian Church. Their tireless dedication to these programs is a
true blessing to the community.
“Their generosity does not stop there. It is the small things that
truly show the sides of their hearts. On several occasions, Larry
and Rhea organized work crews to tackle home repairs for those in
need. They also help organize meals for students at the Lincoln
Christian University. They have opened up their home to provide
meals and fellowship for students at both Lincoln College and
Lincoln Christian University. Their kindness and generosity show the
true sides of their hearts.”
Cooper, Anderson, and the Martincic’s then joined Snyder at the
front of the room where the Martincic’s were presented with a plaque
commemorating the occasion.
The Citizen of the Year for Ward 2 was former alderman David Wilmert.
In Ward 2, the aldermen are Kathy Horn and Michelle Bauer. Bauer was
absent for the evening and Horn gave the presentation. “Our Citizen
of the Year is no stranger to this room. David Wilmert was a city
alderman for two terms. He has done a lot for us that a lot of
people don’t know. He was instrumental in getting all our computers
up and running. He saved us so much money in so many ways. We
appreciate all that David has done for us, and we welcome him back
for a visit.” Wilmert was then called forward to accept his plaque
Wilmert did take the opportunity to say Merry Christmas to everyone,
and offered his good-luck wishes to departing Ward 3 alderman Tom
In Ward 3, the aldermen are Jonie Tibbs and Tom O’Donohue. Monday
was O’Donohue’s last city council meeting. Todd Mourning, who was a
Citizen of the Year recipient with his family in 2013, will be sworn
into the Ward 3 aldermanic position at the first meeting in January.
Because of this, Snyder said the sitting aldermen wanted to include
Mourning in this year’s presentation. Mourning came forward and was
invited to take O’Donohue’s chair to make the presentation.
Mourning made the presentation saying, “One year ago at this
meeting, my family was honored as the family of the year for Ward 3.
This year, I was honored when Alderman Tibbs and Alderman O’Donohue
asked me to present the award for Ward 3 for 2014.
“I want to read you a definition. "A servant leader focuses
primarily on the growth and wellbeing of the people in the
communities to which they belong. A servant leader shares power and
puts the needs of others first and helps people develop and perform
as highly as possible.""
"So, the citizens that the city is honoring across the board
exemplify that tonight. An example, our Ward 3 Citizen of the Year.
"This citizen spends countless hours at the city owned Lincoln FC
soccer fields mowing, fixing, prepping and leading scores of
volunteers to provide a first class facility for the youth of
Lincoln to practice and play soccer. For the route 66 tournament
this fall, this person served as the co-chairman director, medical
director, facilities director. A record number of teens participated
with over 3,000 eating, shopping and staying in Lincoln over the
weekend. We have professional quality fields. I have a friend who
comes from Bloomington who has been to Chicago, St. Louis, all over,
and he said the fields that we laid out that weekend were better
than any they have played on all year. That is what keeps teams
coming here year after year.
[to top of second column]
“This honoree finds time in his church to
provide meals for those less fortunate. (He) provides leadership
by example in a society that can be very self-centered. Our
honoree works in education, leading students not only in
vocational avenues but also helping young men and women to
become better citizens and leaders. The extracurricular
activities where leadership is evident is with the LCHS Bass
Fishing Club and soon the LCHS women’s soccer team in the coming
spring. It also includes responsibilities in the LTEC health
occupations program at the high school. The honoree is raising
their children to be servant leaders with their participation in
soccer field maintenance and church activities.”
The entire family, Jon, Karen, Hope, Natalie, and Piper Graber were
brought forward to receive a plaque from Tibbs, O’Donohue and
In Ward 4, the aldermen are Jeff Hoinacki and Marty Neitzel.
Hoinacki did the honors of introducing the two Ward 4 citizens of
the year. “The recipients we have chosen for the award are sisters.
Both attended Lincoln high school and married brothers. They are now
widowed and reside together in Mayfair.
“They spend a great deal of time volunteering. They are very
involved in the food pantry at Holy Family church. They purchase the
food for the church, stock the pantry, and on Thursday are there to
help hand out sacks of food to the needy.
“Both have taken their turn to transport patients to Springfield for
necessary treatments. Both have traveled to Springfield to usher for
the UIS performances. Jan is a nurse and works once a month with the
“Marty and I are proud to present the Citizen of the Year award to
Jan and Pat Berger.”
Finally, Mayor Snyder presented his Mayor’s Choice award, “2014 was
a big year for the person that I want to put before you as my
Citizen of the Year. It is not every year that the number one
Lincoln Railer fan gets to cheer for a basketball team that came
within a whisker of being number one in the state.
“Tim McDougall is quite a fixture at Lincoln High School. He’s a
huge supporter of Lincoln Community High School. He was with the
2013-14 basketball team throughout all their runs. At both home
games and away games he carried the flag around the floor. He’s also
very involved with the football team. So Tim is a big supporter of
the Lincoln Railers.
“When I called him today to come tonight, I had to have Chief Miller
pick him up in the fire truck. When I had worked all that out and
before we hung up Tim goes, "Go Railers!"
“Beside all the support for the Railers, he is active in his church
and works at Abraham Lincoln Memorial Hospital (17 years this week).
So it is my privilege tonight to put before you my choice for
Citizen of the Year, Tim McDougall.
With the last of the presentation done, Snyder commented, “Thank-you
aldermen. As always you chose well, and it is not easy because there
are a lot of people across the city that we could honor. I want to
thank you for picking these folks out.” Addressing the general
public, Snyder concluded, “and I want to thank everybody out there
for all you have done.”