EDITORIAL: Good guys

Readers invited to nominate 2019 RGV Citizen of the Year

Many people say that the good guys don’t get enough attention.

It’s the bad folks who usually make news, while the work of honest, dedicated and altruistic people often goes unnoticed and underappreciated.

This newspaper and its parent company are working to give those people the attention they deserve. We have begun accepting nominations from our community for RGV Citizen of the Year.

The campaign, now in its fifth year, seeks to reward Rio Grande Valley residents who have helped other Valley residents, and improved or inspired residents all across the region.

It is sponsored by AIM Media Texas and its newspaper products, The Monitor, The Brownsville Herald, Valley Morning Star, El Nuevo Herald, Mid-Valley Town Crier, El Extra and Coastal Current Weekly.

Most people know at least one person who deserves recognition for being a good neighbor, for using whatever resources he has to make life better for those around him.

Those resources often aren’t financial, although our second-year winner, Robert Vackar, received the award in part for using the benefits of his business success to improve the region, such as his $15 million donation to boost the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley business college, which now bears his name. They can be a lifetime dedicated to the service of others, such as our first Citizen of the Year, Sister Norma Pimentel, whose aid to Central American refugees arriving at our border crossings has drawn international recognition, or our fourth, Bill Reagan, executive director of Loaves and Fishes community shelter in Harlingen, which helps individuals and families in the area build new and better lives. They can be ideas such as those offered by our third Citizen, Esmeralda Leal, whose Capable Kids Foundation brings the benefits and enjoyment of sports to children with disabilities.

Nor is age a factor; Crystal Pacheco was a first-grader when her letter to Santa spawned a campaign that brought blankets and toys to dozens of underprivileged children.

Their stories are special, but they’re not unique; our past campaigns have drawn hundreds of nominations of Valley residents who, like the winners, have invested their time and talents toward the benefits of others, or who have brought positive attention to the region, such as advocates for various groups, causes and attractions who also have been nominated in previous years.

Nominations can be emailed to citizen@themonitor.com and should include the nominee’s full name, phone number, some information detailing why the person deserves consideration to be Citizen of the Year. Photos of the nominees are also welcome.

Readers also can provide nominations through our websites, www.themonitor.com/coty, www.brownsvilleherald.com/coty or www.valleymorningstar.com/ coty.

Nominations will be accepted until Dec. 31, and the 2019 RGV Citizen of the Year will be profiled early next year.

Take advantage of the chance to put some good news in the newspaper, and give one of the Valley’s many good guys the attention they deserve by nominating them for RGV Citizen of the Year.