Sara Sullivan Award – Guidelines & Application

The La Crosse Neighborhood Associations Group made up of leaders from existing and forming neighborhood associations created this annual award in 2015 to recognize the outstanding contributions of an individual as demonstrated by Sara Sullivan. The All Neighborhood Leaders Group affirms and promotes the support, preservation and betterment of our neighborhoods and the quality of life by the cooperation and collaboration of residents within our community understanding that people are our community’s greatest asset.

The Sara Sullivan Award recognizes outstanding accomplishments and exceptional contributions made by a City of La Crosse resident.  Anyone can nominate an individual for the Sara Sullivan Award if the nominator feels the actions of the nominee meet the values of the judging criteria listed below.

The Fall Social and Spring events are annual neighborhood celebrations for residents to look forward to and they will serve as the bookends for the Sara Sullivan Award nomination period.  Please send nominations to or complete an application by September 20th of the award year THURSDAY, OCTOBER 4TH, 2018 (EXTENDED!) and the winner will be announced at the following Fall In Love With Your Neighborhood – Family Social in October–THIS YEAR ON SATURDAY, OCTOBER 13TH, 2O18.

Past Award Recipients Include:

2015 – Sara Sullivan

2016 – Jacob Sciammas

2017 – Jo Ann Neve

Eligibility Requirements:

  1. The Sara Sullivan Award winner must be a resident of the City of La Crosse.
  2. Nominations shall be accompanied by a completed nomination form.
  3. Entries must be received by 5 p.m. on September 20th of the award year THURSDAY, OCTOBER 4TH, 2018 (EXTENDED!)

All nominations for the Sara Sullivan Award shall be judged on how closely they represent Sara’s dedication to Neighborhood Revitalization IN ANY OF the following areas:

Physical Revitalization/Beautification: Projects that focus on physical aspects of improving a neighborhood such as parks and green spaces, lighting, litter control, traffic management, housing improvements or business district enhancements.

Social Revitalization: Projects that focus on the social or cultural aspects of a neighborhood like safety, youth and/or senior programs, activities that make neighbors feel connected and foster neighbors working together like an ice cream social, holiday celebration or festival.

Multi-Neighborhood Partnerships: Projects that are jointly produced by a collaboration of at least two neighborhood associations, community organizations or groups of people in a partnership effort addressing either physical or social concerns.


Judging criteria:  

The winner will be decided by a panel from the All Neighborhood Leader group and announced at the annual La Crosse Neighborhoods Fall Family Social.

Inclusion/Diversity:  significant neighborhood and/or business involvement and cooperation with a diversity of participants.

Innovation: creative and unique way to address the neighborhood(s) issue.

Community Benefit: action benefited the neighborhood (s) as a whole and addressed a need; it improved the health, safety and/or appearance of the neighborhood.

Sustainability:  illustrated opportunities and a culture of self-sufficiency for the organization, environment, etc.

Leadership Development: encouraged, facilitated and provided opportunities for volunteers to take on leadership roles and develop new skills, and contribute to a project.


OR  download here:  Sara Sullivan Award Form (Word Document) & Email nomination form and include any attachments of supporting documentation to:


OR  submit (3) paper copies of this nomination and any supporting documentation to:

La Crosse Neighborhoods, Inc.

PO Box 1661

La Crosse, WI  54602

Attention:  Sara Sullivan Award


2017 Award Winner – Jo Ann Neve

Jo Ann was selected based on her long-standing dedication to the Washburn neighborhood and the City of La Crosse – here is more about why:

Look at the Washburn Neighborhood Plan adopted in 2002, and one of the names you will see is Jo Ann Neve. Jo Ann has been a pioneer for the Washburn Neighborhood Association, having served as one of the first chairpersons from October 2003 to August 2005. She has served as vice chair and at least four terms as secretary, has chaired the Oktoberfest Float Committee, the Garden Expo Committee, and the Garden Committee where she assigned plots and oversaw the neighborhood garden. In the summer, she can be found pulling weeds between garden plots in the Washburn Garden or at Firefighters Credit Union, in continued support of a project several years ago to beautify their grounds.

Jo Ann coordinates the creation of 40 or so prize baskets for the Washburn Garden Expo every year and paints at least one beautifully-done rain barrel for the silent auction. When the Washburn Neighborhood Association decided to take over a planting project in the non-working fountain in front of the La Crosse Public Library, she sought out designs and has planted flowers each year.

Jo Ann walked the neighborhood with representatives of City Planning when the Washburn Zoning Plan was being formulated, has chaired the annual Neighborhood Yard Sale, is a member of the Washburn Neighborhood Grant Committee, has served for years as a volunteer for ReNEW La Crosse, has served as secretary of Livable Neighborhoods for 5 years, is always involved in neighborhood clean-up projects, and coordinates the Washburn Neighbors’ Night Out Picnic. She regularly attends City government meetings to listen and observe because she wants to be informed about what will affect the neighborhoods.

Jo Ann has been the constant, steady, dependable backbone making sure everything for which the Washburn Neighborhood Association is known actually happens, often quietly and behind the scenes – please join us in recognizing the gift to the Washburn Neighborhood Association and to the City of La Crosse that she is.


2016 Award Winner – Jacob Sciammas

To say that Jacob Sciammas hit the ground running as a neighborhood leader is an understatement. He was elected co-chair of GENA at the first meeting he attended. In the two years since, he has yet to slow down.   Jacob is a collaborator, facilitator, motivator and mover & shaker. He challenges many to think outside the box and beyond their comfort zone.

Results of his extraordinary efforts include significant growth of GENA active members; focus on property conditions & single family home conversions; GENA Neighborhood Plan; GENA capital improvement priority list; Oktoberfest survey in conjunction with Goosetown and Memorial Pool discussion. He initiated the monthly All Neighborhood Leader meetings, collaboration with UW-L students & administration, first Community Food Forest meetings with the Y and connections among leaders and other community groups.

He was instrumental in founding La Crosse Neighborhood Inc. and serves as President. Jacob has the unique ability to continually match-up residents with projects they become passionate about. Then he moves on to the next “match.”  He has created a “RIPPLE EFFECT” for neighborhood revitalization and community activism!