ESCANABA - Daily Press Lifestyles Editor Dorothy McKnight, Staff Writer Jason Raiche and Photographer Holly Richer were presented with Good News Awards at a luncheon Thursday in Marquette. The annual awards luncheon is sponsored by religious leaders of the Evangelical Lutheran, Presbyterian, United Methodist, Catholic and Episcopal churches.
The Good News Awards honors Upper Peninsula newspapers, radio stations and TV stations for works of excellence "that affirm the dignity of people and uphold universally-recognized human values, such as community, creativity, tolerance, justice, respect, compassion, perseverance, truth, faith, care for the environment or the dedication to excellence," according to the ceremony's program.
"We are all proud of Dorothy, Holly and Jason and the fact that their exceptional talent is being recognized with Good News Awards," said Daily Press Editor Brian Rowell. "This is just an example of the outstanding work these three do each and every day. It's great to see their efforts recognized."
Five jurists read and select the stories, photographs and pieces of work that receive awards.
McKnight earned a Good News Award for a feature story entitled, "A Case of Puppy Love," while Raiche received an award for the news story, "Clothes Closet 'Bigger and Better.'" Richer's award was for her photograph "Welcome Home 1430th: Giuchin Family."
"A Case of Puppy Love" recounts the story of an RN taking care of an elderly man's beloved dog while he focused on his health.
Jurists said the story recounts a heart-warming tale of a person's generous and spontaneous offer to help a stranger in need.
"The article speaks of the mini-communities that blossom in unexpected ways," wrote jurists, saying they felt the story showed "human spirit at its best" by someone taking a risk for someone they hardly knew, yet badly needed their help.
Escanaba High School's efforts in expanding their Clothes Closet for students in need was spotlighted in Raiche's "Clothes Closet 'Bigger and Better.'"
"This is a wonderful story about a grassroots idea that keeps getting better," wrote jurists, who said the story highlights how the Escanaba High School staff is helping its students.
"This was Good News for everyone involved, including the way that youth 'give back' by helping as well," they wrote.
Richer's photograph shows husband and wife soldiers re-united with their young son during a welcome home ceremony for soldiers from the 1430th Vertical Engineering Company.
The boy's grandmother, who also appears in the photo, had cared for the boy while his parents were deployed to Afghanistan for a year.
Jurists said the photo captured the pleasure of a military family reunion "beautifully."
"There is simple joy of a delighted little boy and three happy and grateful adults," they wrote. "The photograph nicely communicates through positioning that each person has a unique perspective."