Ben Ann Tomayko Neighbor of the Year Award goes to Rita Vinson of Brentwood-Oak Hills Neighborhood Association
For the second year in a row, an Eastside neighborhood leader was chosen as the Ben Ann Tomayko Neighbor of the Year, the most prestigious award given by the Fort Worth League of Neighborhood Associations, Inc. This year’s winner is Rita Vinson. She was nominated by Kathryn Kroll President and the board of the Brentwood-Oak Hills Neighborhood (BOHN) Association. Last year’s award was given posthumously to Alyce Boyd of Ryanwood Neighborhood Association.
Gene Bibb, current president of the League, presented the award to Vinson at an awards luncheon Saturday, Jan. 20, at The Riley Center at the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. About 350 people attended the luncheon. This event was part of the 2017 Mayor’s Community Engagement Workshops and Awards program.
For many years the League partnered with the City in putting on this annual event. A few years ago the City assumed responsibility for the event but has invited the League to present its award at that venue. Below is the presentation from the League president, Gene Bibb.
“The Fort Worth League of Neighborhood Associations is pleased to present the 2017 Ben Ann Tomayko Neighbor of the Year Award to Rita M. Vinson.
“Rita has been a particularly active volunteer since she retired from her career in US government service.
“Rita lives in the Brentwood – Oak Hills neighborhood where she has been an active volunteer for more than two decades. She was involved with the formation of the Brentwood – Oak Hills Neighborhood Association and served as its first president. She held that office for 12 years and has remained active in association leadership. She is currently the Vice President of Communications. She has been the co-editor of the newsletter for more than 20 years.
“Because of her position as association president, she met other neighborhood leaders at meetings of their Neighborhood Police District Community Advisory Committee. Rita was one of the five leaders that met to organize an alliance of neighborhoods. In 1999, they founded the Neighborhoods of East Fort Worth which has now grown to 19 neighborhoods along interstate 30 from Riverside to Eastchase.
“Rita was elected to the Board of Directors of the FWLNA in 2015 and was elected President of the league in 2016.
“Rita has been appointed to serve the City of Fort Worth on several occasions. She served on the Community Development Council from 2002 to 2004 and on the Mayor’s Planning and Advisory Committee on Homelessness in 2004 and 2005.
“She has been recognized in many ways over the years for her dedication and service to the community including being named as an Outstanding Woman of Fort Worth in 1998 by Mayor Barr and the Fort Worth Commission on the Status of Women.
“Rita has served Fort Worth and her neighborhood with sustained dedication and distinction.
“I am proud to name her the Ben Ann Tomayko Neighbor of the Year.”
Gene Bibb, President, FWLNA, 2017 and 2018
Three other neighborhood associations of the Neighborhoods of East Fort Worth received recognition in the awards presented by the City of Fort Worth:
Garden of Eden NA was the winner of the Mayor’s Health and Wellness award for its 5k Fun Run and health screenings.
Eastern Hills NA was recognized
–for its Newsletter and Communications
–as a finalist for the Spirit of Fort Worth award for its July 4 picnic and other events
–as a finalist for the Mayor’s Health and Wellness award for its support of Blue Zone initiatives.
West Meadowbrook NA was recognized for its Newsletter and Communications.