Lifestyle News

Nominations open for 2021 Rural Spirit Awards


Rural America has an essence to it — a sense of rising up to challenges, solving difficult problems, leaning on optimism, and instilling hope. Through the Rural Spirit Awards, marketing and communications agency OBP uses this opportunity every year to honor the heroes of rural America, a particularly valuable thing as the COVID-19 pandemic continues. 

Nominations are now being accepted for the fourth annual Rural Spirit Awards, celebrating people who support and improve rural America through community service and economic development. They can be made by the public at, and the nomination period closes at 11:59 p.m. Oct. 11, 2021.

Three total award winners will be chosen across three categories:

1. The Community Service Award category honors an individual who exhibits the rural spirit through exceptional service in the name of community growth. Any potential Community Service Award recipient demonstrates a willingness to go above and beyond by selflessly donating their time to support efforts that positively influence their local community.

2. The Next Gen Award category recognizes an individual from an up-and-coming generation (21 years of age or under). Any potential Next Gen Award recipient demonstrates uncommon leadership through community service efforts or innovative thinking throughout their rural community.

3. The Rural Advocacy Award category celebrates an individual who proudly embodies the heart of rural America. Any potential Rural Advocacy Award recipient is an integral part of their community — working hard to spur economic development, create jobs, and advocate for growth.

“We believe in the Noble Pursuit of Possibility and celebrating those who are inspired by what’s possible to strengthen and support rural communities nationwide is what the Rural Spirit Awards are all about,” said Rhonda Ries, president of OBP. “As the pandemic continues to show us, community support is widely needed. The Rural Spirit Awards offer a chance to honor those who are making a difference during these continually challenging times.”

Winners of the Rural Spirit Awards will receive $2,000 each to donate to a nonprofit organization of their choice, with donations made in the winners’ names. All winners will be announced and recognized during an awards celebration Thursday, October 21, 2021. 

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