Leading the Way

Published 10:55 am Thursday, October 1, 2009

The Ironton woman who led the ongoing city beautification project may add a national accolade to her resumé as a civic leader.

Carol Allen, one of those who spearheaded Ironton in Bloom, has been nominated by her hometown for the America in Bloom John R. Holmes III Community Champion Award. America in Bloom is the national umbrella for the community effort to improve the landscape of Ironton through planting and maintaining flower boxes around the city and honoring the horticultural work of homeowners and businesses.

Last year the national organization honored the Ironton chapter for its projects in its initial year.

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Allen will attend the AIB symposium at Hershey, Pa., this weekend, where the award will be announced on Saturday. Allen is competing against 30 other nominees.

“It will be delightful to be there,” Allen said.

This is the first year the Holmes award has been given out to recognize an individual who best exemplifies community leadership with “vision and selfless commitment to moving the community forward,” according to AIB. The winner was chosen by the AIB board of directors.

The late John Holmes, who died in February, was a CEO of an association of horticulture professionals.

“John was a tremendous advocate for city beautification and a true believer in the power of flowers and plants to change lives,” according to AIB.

Whether Allen returns to Ironton a Holmes winner or not, she intends to come back with more information that will help Ironton in Bloom continue its work of improving the city.

“I will be looking for all different kinds of ideas,” she said. “It keeps the enthusiasm going when you have someone go and come back with new things to share.”