It's nearing the end of the year, and throughout 2012, Wauwatosa has had the privilege of watching some amazing people doing great things.
People have helped Wauwatosa in many ways – some with their hands on, here, to keep building an even better community, some by representing the generous spirit of Wauwatosa well beyond its borders.
There was Assistant Fire Chief Jim Case, who went as part of a volunteer emergency medical assistance team to help the sick and injured in New Jersey and New York for three weeks after Hurricane Sandy ravaged the coast.
There is Sarah Lerand, who as a McKinley Elementary parent has worked tirelessly for the cause of Safe Routes to School for Wauwatosa's children and who, with the ceaseless help and expertise of Ald. Jeff Roznowski, just won a major state grant to greatly advance that cause.
In a related effort, freshman Ald. Joel Tilleson personally saw to it that school safety measures for a dangerous stretch of Wauwatosa Avenue near Longfellow School were implemented a full year before expectations – and before this school year began.
There's John Gee, the executive director of the nacsent Forestry Exploration Center, who revised all his previous plans and came forward with the only potentially viable proposal to save the historic Eschweiler Buildings – and the unstoppable Denise Lindberg (already a Distinguished Citizen of Wauwatosa) and Peggy Rozenzweig, who immediately stepped up next to him to help.
There is Alicia Bartz, as just one standout representative among of a host of Lincoln Elementary School parents who rushed to the aid of the Birk family when their daughter, Kaylen, was diagnosed with a rare and fatal brain disease.
And there is always Chris Leffler, who never stops giving back to Wauwatosa, and who in the case of Kaylen Birk's illness stepped up once again to donate richly of his time, money and talents for a community fundraiser that drew (and fed) 1,500 people.
Those are just a few of the good people and causes written about in Wauwatosa Patch so far this year.
But we know there are people doing good that we at Patch never heard about.
There are those who daily work for the good of Wauwatosa's children, its elderly, its sick and its poor and hungry.
Those who work at the Medical College of Wisconsin and Froedtert Hospital, not only saving lives today but doing the advanced research that will improve and save more lives in the future.
There are business people making informed but still possibly risky decisions every day toward creating jobs and growth to keep Wauwatosa vigorously on the path to progress even during challenging economic times.
And there are, of course, as in any year, police officers and firefighters who constantly put their lives on the line for Wauwatosa's citizens but seldom get recognition by name.
This December, we'd like your help determing the Wauwatosa Patch person – or persons – of the year. You may nominate anyone who lives, works or volunteers in town. But nominations close at 9 a.m. Dec. 13, so submit your picks now.
There are two ways to nominate someone:
Fill out the form above. We're asking for the person's name, why you think they should be Person of the Year, and a way to contact them. We also need your name and a way to contact you. This information will be sent only to Patch, and contact information will not be published.
Or, you can nominate someone in the comments section below, once you've signed up for and are logged in to your Patch account. If you choose to use the comments to make your nomination, please give us the person's name and why you think they should be person of the year, but don't put in specific contact information. Instead, use the person's name and enough detail so we could track them down. (For example: “The neighbor boy who rakes my leaves all fall” isn't enough for us to go on, but “Mrs. Johnson at Jefferson Elementary who helped the third grade class with a great volunteer opportunity” would be a great starting point.)
Once nominations close at 9 a.m. Dec. 13, Patch editors will go through all submissions and choose a person (or people) or the year. Stories will start running Dec. 26.