Three "Unsung Heroes" Recognized with Crystal Awards

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Tuesday, April 23, 2019, 7:01 am
Noa Kuszai

Above: Winners of the 2019 Crystal Awards pose with Mayor Mark Meadows.

On the evening of April 18, community members gathered for the annual Crystal Awards, to celebrate individuals who make a difference in East Lansing.

The event is hosted by the East Lansing City Council, and according to Mayor Mark Meadows, who presented the awards, they are for “recognizing people who are really unsung in the community if we don’t recognize them in this manner.”

The awardees this year were Luke Hackney, who was lauded as “a tireless advocate for downtown East Lansing,” Patricia Robinson, who has worked with the City every year to maintain the tree-lined streets of the Brookfield Heritage Neighborhood, and Will Kopachik, who has created and coached a Science Olympiad team at East Lansing High School and organized “Science Palooza” at MacDonald Middle School.

On accepting their awards, each recipient said they couldn’t have accomplished what they have without the support of others in the community.

Hackney (above) told the audience that he is “not worthy of all” that he is credited for doing, and joked “[h]onestly, if I talked about my younger days in East Lansing, you might take this away from me.”

Robinson (above) said from the podium that success such as hers “doesn’t happen without the support of the neighborhood and all the people that have helped me over the years.”

Kopachik (above) explained that winning the Crystal Award was “really an effort of many, many people in the school district.”

All three expressed surprise at receiving the award, and spoke of the need for people to help improve their city.

“As cliché as it is to say, community is your home,” Hackney said. “You need to work on it just as much as you do your house, so you can be proud to call it yours.”

Robinson said that trees are beautiful and have many benefits for the people that live in cities, adding that, “A neighborhood without trees is a neighborhood I don’t want to live in.”

Kopachik emphasized the importance of furthering science literacy and students’ experience in science.

At the end of the ceremony, Meadows thanked people for nominating individuals.

“Thank you for everyone who came tonight, but also to the people that took the time to make nominations this year,” Meadows said. “The time, the energy, the sweat, that was put in by volunteers here in the community is what really makes this City a special city.”

Nominations for Crystal Awards may be made at any time during the year using this form, and recipients are selected by a board of community members. This year’s selection board was selected by Meadows, standing in for City Council member Ruth Beier who has previously served in that capacity.









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