Hart awarded Citizen of Year

Braden Schiller

Photo by Braden Schiller/NLJ

Sandy Hart (center) accepts the Citizen of the Year award next to Paycee Todd (left) and Sawyer Todd (right) on her Little Safari Daycare float during the Upton Fun Days parade Saturday.


Braden Schiller

NLJ Correspondent


Upton resident Sandy Hart was named Citizen of the Year at Upton Fun Days on Saturday. 

The award recipient is decided by nomination, which is kept secret from the recipient, whose family members help organize the ceremony.

“They sort of do this secret operative thing. And they write something up and there’s only a few people that know, other than the council or the chamber themselves,” Hart explained.

Clark Coberly, who helped announce the parade, said that he believed the award started sometime in the 1960s or 1970s. Upton Fun Days got its start in the 1950s.

Hart, a former paraprofessional in Weston County School District No. 7, opened Little Safari Daycare in January to provide a day care service to Upton residents, after realizing that Upton did not have a day care for children.

Hart was on the Little Safari Daycare float in the Fun Days parade when she received the award from last year’s recipient, Randy Krein. Next to Hart on the Little Safari Daycare float were children Paycee Todd, Finley Todd, Trey Samuelson and Asa Samuelson.

Krein, who said he was excited to pass on the award, waited at the announcer’s podium before the parade started. 

“I can’t think of anybody more deserving, and I’ve known her since I’ve lived in this town. It’s going to be awesome,” he said.

Hart said that she was humbled to receive the award and that she had only tried to help out where she could. 

Hart has taken on various roles in Upton over the years before becoming a day care professional. She coached a little girls dance team and a year of high school and middle school track and cheerleading, in addition to her job as a paraprofessional. Hart said that she and her husband have also fostered kids in their time as residents of Upton. 

“If we don’t do things, (if) we don’t support our community just because it’s the right thing to do, then people will do nothing. I think it’s really important,” Hart said.


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