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Newsmakers nominees named for 2008-09

After a one-year hiatus, SCV Press Club to host event March 19

Posted: January 31, 2010 10:37 p.m.
Updated: February 1, 2010 4:55 a.m.
The Newsmakers of the Year dinner and awards ceremony - an annual fundraiser that honors local newsmakers, celebrates the First Amendment and funds scholarships for local students - is back after a one-year hiatus.

A selection committee met last week and chose individuals, groups and businesses to receive awards during the Newsmakers of the Year dinner scheduled March 19 at the Hyatt Regency Valencia.

"Newsmakers is back, and we promise it will be more fun," said Michele E. Buttelman, president of the SCV Press Club and Signal features and entertainment editor. "We want to concentrate this year on celebrating the people and the events of the Santa Clarita Valley."

Newsmakers of the Year, sponsored by the SCV Press Club, benefits the Randy Wicks Memorial First Amendment Scholarship Fund.

Founded in 1997 to honor the memory of the late Signal editorial cartoonist who won national awards, the Randy Wicks Memorial First Amendment Scholarship Fund has awarded more than $250,000 in scholarships to local students whose personal goals, college majors and declared career paths best promote and preserve the free dissemination of information.

"It's an honor to carry on this tradition and celebrate the free speech rights granted us under the First Amendment," said Lila Littlejohn, executive editor of The Signal and a Press Club board member.

In past years, the event has featured a live auction as the main fundraising component.

"We're going to change it up and do raffles this year instead of a live auction," Buttelman said.

A committee made up of individuals throughout the community, The Signal newsroom and the SCV Press Club board has nominated individuals, businesses and organizations for the awards, which will honor newsmakers in both 2008 and 2009.

In addition to 2008 and 2009 Newsmaker of the Year recognitions, awards will be given for Organization of the Year, Behind the Scenes, Community Service, Most Controversial, Sports Team, Sports Individual Male and Sports Individual Female.

The Press Club will also present the Friend of the Press Award, which previously was named Most Cooperative with the Press.

Two new categories have been added this year: Business of the Year and Businessperson of the Year.

"Business is the lifeblood of the SCV," said Buttelman. "Business is what funds our many nonprofits, contributing to the quality of life in the Santa Clarita Valley. It is important to recognize the business community as the significant newsmakers they are."

The SCV Press Club board includes Buttelman, Littlejohn, Ian Lamont, Marlee Lauffer, Tim Whyte, Barbara Myler, Eric Harnish, Stephanie Weiss and Gail Shaughnessy.

Members of the Newsmakers selection committee included board members and Jill Mellady, Marc Emmer, Jim Piccirillo, Jeanna Crawford, Brandon Lowery, Cary Osborne, Brian Charles, Josh Premako, Teresa Todd, Sharon Bronson, Gail Ortiz, Leon Worden and Jeff Wilson.

For information about table sales and tickets call Michele Buttelman (661) 902-5590 or e-mail


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