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Celia Commemoration accepting nods for Bierdeman-Fike Award

Celia Commemoration accepting nods for Bierdeman-Fike Award

Inaugural humanitarian award to honor Fulton, Callaway women

November 20th, 2013 in News

A group of people observe a candlelight vigil at last year's Celia Commemoration. This year's event will feature a format change to a banquet, and will also honor a local Callaway County woman working toward social justice for the inaugural Jane Bierdeman-Fike Humanitarian Award.

This year's Celia Commemoration won't settle for honoring just one woman.

Event organizers say they are accepting nominations for "outstanding women" in Fulton and Callaway County to be honored with the inaugural Jane Bierdeman-Fike Humanitarian Award, presented at this year's Celia Commemoration 6 p.m. Dec. 21.

Nominations for local women who are "making significant contributions with (their) time, actions and dedication" in social justice, environmental justice, economic equality, community building, education or embracing diversity are due by Dec. 9, said organizer Steve Moore.

The award is named after Jane Bierdeman-Fike, a Fulton social worker who died March 2012, spent a long and decorated career advocating social and economic justice issues and mental health. Moore said she was influential in organizing the early Celia Commemorations about nine years ago.

Fellow event coordinator Rev. Charles Jackson said the group chose to include the humanitarian award to honor its namesake and local women continuing Bierdeman-Fike's work.

"Jane was always concerned about all people being treated fairly," Jackson said. "Since she was the one who started Celia in the first place, that should be named after her, and her legacy for what she did at the (Fulton) State Hospital and in the mental health arena as well as Fulton and across the nation."