SIDNEY — The 2022 Outstanding Senior Citizen’s Award for Shelby County was awarded to Thomas Clark at the first in-person award banquet since 2019 at the Senior Center of Sidney-Shelby County on May 18.
Clark is well-known to people affiliated with Sidney City Schools. He was influential in getting The Opportunity School from 13 enrollees at its start in 1999 to over 1,300 enrollees from Sidney and Shelby County today. He was also a varisty boys basketball, varsity girls softball, and junior high football coach and has received multiple OHSAA awards. In 2019, he was inducted into the Sidney City Schools Hall of Honor. Outside of school, Clark was a Shelby County CASA/GAL Dancing with Our Stars runner-up in 2022.
Kathy Bray, the 2021 outstanding senior citizen, presented the award. Clark started his acceptance speech with a joke, then said, “I’m honored to receive this. I’m not sure how deserving I am, but people voted me in and I guess I’ll accept it.”
The other nominees this year were Vicki Alexander, Conelia Dixon, and Duane and Pat Mullen.
The Organization of the Year Award was given to the Senior Center of Sidney-Shelby County. The senior center is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year and partnered with local churches during COVID-19 to ensure that senior citizens were getting the items they needed. Last year, the organization reached over 33,000 people.
Mayor Mardi Milligan was in attendance and recited a proclamation, which included that May 18, 2022 has been designated “Senior Citizen Day” by the city of Sidney.
Commissioners Tony Bornhorst and Bob Guillozet were also in attendance. Bornhorst made remarks after Milligan and said that he would consider the older population in Shelby County to be “seasoned” and called this generation an “experienced workforce.”
“There’s a whole bunch of us that are seasoned and seen a lot of history, a lot of items, and a lot of experiences that make us the best folks to be in the community,” Bornhorst said.
In the time before the awards were announced, comedian and Sidney resident Justin Thompson told some stories and jokes to the crowd. Some Sidney High School seniors distributed food and drinks to the tables, and the Rev. Eileen Hix of the First United Mehodist Church led the prayer.