The McPherson Chamber of Commerce is recognizing students who truly show compassion for their communities and their outstanding efforts through the OMEGA — Outstanding McPherson Eighth Grader — Award.

"It started out initially to correlate with the aspect of All Schools Day and that was to recognize eighth graders, since a lot of times, children usually get recognized for sports awards and others of that sort. This one is more on their character — someone who is a leader to their peers and someone who goes out of their way for their neighbors," said Debbie Hawkinson, administrative assistant at the Chamber.

This award is county-wide and anyone can nominate the eighth grader whom they feel is worthy.

"We've had someone who is a youth leader nominate an eighth grader and we've had grandparents nominate as well as teachers. Sometimes these kids are getting recognition elsewhere and they stand out to these people," Hawkinson added.

The Chamber has given this award annually to honor students who shine through their hard work and dedication that often goes unseen.

"We've had some really good feedback on this award, not only from students, but parents and teachers. It's meant a lot to the kids too that someone is actually noticing what they do, since sometimes they might not be the straight-A student or the football captain — but rather they're being noticed for being a good role model to others," she added.

Those nominated for the award will be recognized at May Fete on May 6 at the Lakeside Park Bandshell in McPherson.

"It'll be a Wednesday night and we will tell a little story about each student and why they were nominated," Hawkinson explained.

To nominate a student, visit and fill out a nomination form, pick up a paper form at the Chamber office, located at 306 N. Main St. or call 620-241-3303 to have one mailed to you.

For more information, call the chamber at 620-241-3303 or visit their website at

Contact Brooke Haas by email at or follow her on Twitter @ MacSentinel.