Kehl selected as finalist for Woman of the Year

DENNISON -- The Dennison Railroad Depot Museum is announcing the five finalists of the 2009 Lucille Nussdorfer -- Tuscarawas County Woman of the Year.

Locally, Charlene Kehl, who has built a legacy and lasting impact with her involvement on the Tuscarawas County Fair Board, the Newcomerstown Chamber of Commerce, the American Soldiers Homecoming and the North Pole for the Polar Express. Kehl of Newcomerstown was nominated by Rhonda Martinelli, who explains, "As the North Pole Mayor, she works side by side with local children who create a lasting memory for other children visiting our area. They never forget the experience."

Other nominees include Shirley Griffin, Sharon Ricklic, Leslie Wilson and Martha Campbell.

This year, in addition to a basket of gifts prepared by the Tuscarawas County Convention & Visitors Bureau that each finalist will receive, the Tuscarawas County Woman of the Year will receive a necklace prepared by Alan Rodriguez of the Rodriguez' House of Stones. The necklace is a one-of-a-kind design, modeled after the Woman of the Year logo and award statue. Each will be engraved with the year presented to the winner.

The Depot Museum presents the Tuscarawas County Woman of the Year Award in memory of Lucille Nussdorfer, founder of the Dennison Servicemen's Canteen that served 1.3 million soldiers during World War II. This Canteen became an inspiration to other towns across the country that copied Lucille's efforts and created their own canteens. The volunteer effort that resulted from Lucille's spark brought together 6,000 volunteers from eight counties, and left a reputation of caring and hospitality in our county that is remembered to this day. For her lasting impact on our area's history, Lucille was inducted into the Ohio Governor's Women's Hall of Fame by Governor Voinovich.

This award is given to someone who follows in Lucille's footsteps and makes a significant impact in her community. Volunteer efforts through an individual's employment will not be considered. They are seeking to acknowledge outstanding woman who have made a mark on others with their lives.

Presenting this award at the annual Tuscarawas County Woman of the Year Banquet is the official kick-off for the American Soldiers Homecoming Festival which will extend from Aug. 6 to 9. and will highlight the Vietnam era, as well as World War II.

Nominations must live, work or volunteer in Tuscarawas County. The nominee must have made a significant and lasting impact through volunteerism on the quality of life in Tuscarawas County. The impact may include such areas as education, services to seniors and youth, and service to non-profit and charitable organizations.

The Awards Banquet, which is open to the public, s scheduled for Wednesday, Aug. 5 at 6 p.m.. at the Union Country Club in Dover. Tickets are $25 and can be purchased at the Dennison Depot or at the Tuscarawas County Convention and Visitors Bureau.

At the end of the dinner, the winner of the Award will be presented by Tracy Stevens, representing the Presenting Sponsor, Dominion. The Premier Sponsor of the Event is WTUZ Radio. Emcee for the evening will be Scott Robinson, who is a relative of Lucille Nussdorfer.

The winner is encouraged but not required to ride in the American Soldiers Fest Ticker Tape Parade and attend the Soldiers Fest Opening Ceremony to be recognized on Saturday, Aug. 8. (Parade begins at 9 a.m.; line-up at 8 a.m.) Free Soldiers Fest packets will be given to award winner and their family.

Winners of this prestigious award has included to date Phyllis Van Horn in 2007 and Connie Finton in 2008.