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Turtle Awards

Recorded on: June 17th, 2016

Air Date: June 20th, 2016

Every year since 1991, in a unique local tradition, the City Club of Eugene honors one or more civic leaders through the Turtle Award, for “sticking their necks out” to achieve an important goal. Turtle Award winners have demonstrated the strong beliefs, vision, and courage required to persevere in a risk-prone venture for the good of the whole community. Turtles are people who do what needs doing quietly, without fanfare or recognition.

The Turtle Award winners are selected by a committee of all previous winners—38 still actively Turtling recipients—who meet annually in person to select the new winners. The only task of the committee is to nominate and vote on the Turtles for the year. The criteria for nomination include:

  •  Fostering creative problem solving in Eugene’s public affairs
  • Stimulating constructive action
  • Forging cooperative relationships
  • Honoring diverse perspectives
  • Sticking one’s neck out for the good of the community
  • Being under-appreciated by the public

During the program, Turtle Committee Chair John VanLandingham, of the Lane County Legal Aid & Advocacy Center, explains the history of the Turtle Awards and then introduces one or two presenters for each individual receiving an award. Each presenter gives a short description of the new Turtle, explaining the basis of his or her “Turtle-worthiness.” The new Turtle then shares his or her motivation for doing the work of a Turtle.
The Turtle Award celebrates the quality of character and selfless community service that is critical to a healthy common life. By recognizing such contributions to Eugene’s collective quality of life, the City Club of Eugene strives to encourage many future Turtles.

copyright, 2016 KLCC