Owners of U.G. White Mercantile in downtown Athens want help from the community in naming local heroes.

Residents are asked to submit names of someone they feel exemplifies a “hometown hero” for the business to honor during an upcoming event, said Pete Woodward.

Woodward said at least two people — one uniformed person and one civilian — and possibly more will be chosen from the submissions. Those chosen will be honored during a ceremony at the store’s W.R. Case & Sons Cutlery event from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. May 14.

“Heroism is sacrifice and selfless dedication that too often goes unnoticed,” Woodward said. “Our grateful recognition of their courage could change, not only their lives, but ours and those of our children as well.”

The recipients each will receive a specialty Case knife, sponsors of the Hometown Heroes event, with his or her name engraved.

Submissions should include the name of the individual and a brief history of accomplishments. Submit to U.G. White at 101 N. Jefferson St., Athens, 35611, by Friday, April 22.

Woodward described qualities being considered: “A hero, by definition, is someone who looks past the present, past what would bring pain or satisfaction right now, and into the future, to see what would help others. A hero is made of selfless dedication and compassion for those who are not so fortunate. We overuse the term hero — we like to tack it to everything and everyone. But in doing so, we tend to forget the true heroism of those who live quietly in our midst.”

Heroes include veterans, whose service for our nation has allowed us to keep the freedoms we enjoy today, the police officers, firefighters, and rescue workers who risk their lives daily to keep us safe here at home, Woodward said.

“And those who do not wear a uniform, whose presence on the street goes mostly unnoticed,” he added. “Civilians who have the courage to change others’ lives for the better.”

Also during the May 14 event, a live auction will be held of specialty knives. Proceeds will benefit local charities.

Limited edition knives commemorating the Hometown Hero event will be sold on a first-come-first-served basis.

For information, call 256-232-4540.

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