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Durand Area Dominates First People and Places Awards

Uplift Shiawassee People and Places Awards Announced Live; Durand Area Pastors, Churches, Teachers, Schools Rake In Votes

Posted by Durand Now at 1:59pm 5/27/19

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The first-ever Uplift Shiawassee People and Places Awards were revealed in a Facebook Live video on Sunday evening, May 26th.

The awards "show" honored area teachers, schools, pastors, churches, military branches and members and nonprofits.

More than 3,000 vote submissions were received in the one week contest voting period that ran May 20th to 26th, for a total of 10,022 individual votes, and many of those votes were for people and places in the Durand area.

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The top three Churches in the contest were all Durand area churches; First United Methodist Church of Durand collected 189 votes, First Congregational Church of Durand nabbed 232 votes and, in the top spot, in a category made up of 18 nominated churches from throughout the county, with an even 300 votes, was Lennon Wesleyan Church.

Votes in the Pastor/Priest category mirrored the church category, with Pastor Aaron Kesson of First United Methodist Church garnering nearly 200 votes and Rev. Steve Wood of First Congregational Church of Durand getting just over 200.  Just over 300 votes were received for Pastor Dana Beland of Lennon Wesleyan Church.

Lennon Area Food Pantry, operated by Lennon Wesleyan Church, collected nearly 300 votes in the Nonprofits category, for first place.  Respite Volunteers of Shiawassee, just shy of 200 votes, earned second place.  The Durand Lioness Club was right behind Respite Volunteers, landing in third with 180 votes.

Durand schools were well-represented too.  Durand Middle School collected 281 votes to land in second place in the Schools category, behind Shiawassee RESD, which serves the entire county.  Shiawassee RESD had 321 votes.  Morrice Elementary rounded out the category right behind Durand Middle School, with 265 votes.

But in the category of Teachers, it was Angie Jewell, Durand Middle School's art teacher, who nabbed the most votes in the category with 39 other teachers from throughout the county.  It was a close one between Jewell, at 497 votes, and Penny Vriebel at Shiawassee RESD, with 445 votes.  Matt Friend at Owosso Middle School was a close third with 427 votes.

It was the winner of the Military Branches category that got the overall most votes in the People and Places Awards.  Find out what branch it was and see the rest of the top vote-getters here.

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