Awards & Scholarships honor achievement and professionalism
By any measure, OGR members are stand-outs in terms of commitment to their profession, their families and their communities.
OGR's award and scholarship programs enable the association to acknowledge member achievements and support the career goals of promising mortuary science students. Winners are acknowledged in The Independent®, on the website and at the Annual Conference.
Golden Light Award
In 2002, OGR instituted its most prestigious award, the Golden Light Award, to salute professional excellence exemplified by individual members who have inspired others by their commitment to service.
As an OGR member, you have opportunity each year to nominate a fellow member who has distinguished him- or herself in the funeral profession through OGR involvement, community service or volunteer activities that demonstrate "service measured not by gold, but by the Golden Rule."
Current Golden Light Award Winner
OGR is privileged to bestow its 2012 Golden Light Award to Guy Linnemann.
About Guy Linnemann Guy Linnemann began his career in funeral service the way many of us have, as the son of a funeral director. After obtaining his degree in mortuary science, he joined his father’s funeral home and later purchased the firm from his parents.
He is always ready to answer the call to serve his fellow funeral directors. He served on the OGR board of directors for six years including a term as president (2008-2009), in addition to serving on numerous OGR committees. He is a past president of the Kentucky Funeral Directors Association, and a past board member and trustee of the Cincinnati College of Mortuary Science.
He has also made a lasting mark in his community. He is a Past President of the Erlanger Rotary Club as well as past chairman of the United Ministries Advisory Board, in addition to being actively involved with multiple other community organizations. The individual who nominated our winner describes him as being a “model OGR member, a model funeral director, and a model human being.”
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Past Golden Light Award Winners
Golden Rule Community Service Award
Launched in 2008, the Golden Rule Community Service Award singles out a member firm for outstanding service to the community performed during the calendar year.
Pray Funeral Home
Pray Funeral Home was very active in their local communities of Charlotte, Michigan last year.
Every September, people from throughout Michigan visit the small town of Charlotte to enjoy the annual Frontier’s Day festival. Each year Pray Funeral Home sponsors several activities, participates in the parade and rodeo, and spends the day with community members. This year, in addition to those activities, the funeral home set up and operated a child safety tent along the parade route with two goals in mind. The first goal was to provide free child fingerprinting to families in the community. Utilizing their Thumbies iPod scanner, they recorded over 100 fingerprints that day. The kids enjoyed seeing their fingerprints on the iPod, and the parents expressed gratitude for a service that provided a little peace of mind. A few families ordered Thumbies, and several families came into the funeral home in the following weeks to thumbprint additional children.
The second goal was to educate young families and their children about funerals and their value. To accomplish this, Pray Funeral Home staff created a children’s coloring book about funerals and handed them out during the event. The coloring book was called “A Visit to Pray Funeral Home” and provided an explanation of the funeral process beginning with the visitation, through burial or cremation. A list of child-appropriate definitions was also included.
By offering young families the opportunity to protect their children and educate them at the same time, Pray Funeral Home found a way to become a relevant resource to a new segment of people, and to offer them the chance to be served in ways they may not have expected.
Past Golden Rule Community Service Award Winners
2011 Award Miles T. Martin Funeral Home Mt. Morris, Mich.
2010 Award Brunswick Funeral Home East Brunswick, NJ
2008 Award Arnett & Steele Funeral Home Pineville, Ky.
Exemplary Service Awards
The Exemplary Service Awards recognize those Golden Rule firms that have displayed outstanding professionalism and exemplary service.
The criteria for receiving an Exemplary Service Award are family comments gathered through OGR's Family Contact Program, a family evaluation of the service received from members. Comments that represent a family’s satisfaction and indicate that the funeral home performed in an exemplary manner are chosen as nominees for for this award.
Each year, a collection of comments are reviewed by the Regional Chairpersons, who choose the top three instances of member firms providing service above and beyond what is typically expected.
Those firms are honored as Gold, Silver and Bronze Exemplary Service Award winners.
Heafey-Hoffmann-Dworak-Cutler Mortuaries Omaha, Neb.
Miles T. Martin Funeral Home Mt. Morris, Mich.
Bronze Award (Tie):
Brunswick Memorial Home East Brunswick, NJ
Loyless Funeral Home Land O’Lakes, Fla.
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OGR demonstrates its support of the next generation of funeral home employees and owners by offering scholarships to students nearing completion of their mortuary science degree and about to enter the funeral profession.
The Awards of Excellence Scholarship Program provides scholarships to students based on strong academic performance, funeral service experience and the strength of their essay, that exemplifies a commitment to serving grieving families with compassion, fairness and dignity. Applicants must be enrolled in a degree program at an accredited mortuary science school or college; be scheduled to graduate in the calendar year in which the award is given; and have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher. This fund is supported by member contributions.
Applications are due January 31 of each year.
2013 Scholarship Winners
Gold Award of Excellence: Michelle Wade, $3,500 Scholarship Pittsburgh Institute of Mortuary Science
Silver Award of Excellence: Angela Carter $2,000 Scholarship St. Louis Community College
Awards of Excellence Scholarship Contribution Fund
Contributions to the Awards of Excellence Scholarship Fund may be made in someone's memory or in honor of a special event. Contributions are acknowledged in The Independent as they are received.
To send a donation, download a contribution form or contact the
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