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Community service award nominees must be in by Jan. 31

PEABODY-Nominees for the Peabody Chamber of Commerce?s Mary Upton Ferrin Community Service Award Program must be received by Thursday, Jan. 31. Winners will be honored with a ceremony March 26 from 6-8 p.m.This year?s awards include two new categories: Chamber Member Business Leadership Award and the Community Spirit Award.Recipients of the Business Leadership Award must be a current member of the Chamber for a minimum of three years, demonstrate a high standard of excellence in business leadership and community involvement, and be an excellent role model and business neighbor.Nominees for the Community Spirit Award must demonstrate consistent and long-term efforts on behalf of the community and be like an unsung hero. They need not be a member of the Chamber.To be eligible for the coveted Mary Upton Ferrin Award, the female honoree must currently live or work in Peabody for at least five years, lead a community-based civic, economic, or cultural initiative, serve as an outstanding role model for other women and young girls, and struggle to overcome obstacles. They must also be an advocate for humanitarian-based efforts, have conquered unique challenges, and caused change for the good of people over a significant period of time.Since 1993, the Peabody Chamber of Commerce has given out the award in honor of the efforts put forth by one woman more than 150 years ago. Born in 1810 in South Danvers (now Peabody), Mary Upton Ferrin was one of the nation?s first voices to speak out for women?s rights.She first began her crusade in 1847 after consulting a divorce lawyer to end an abusive marriage to Jesse Ferrin. She was told she would lose everything by law because a woman?s belongings were no longer hers once saying “I do.”This news marked the beginning of her life-long struggle for women?s suffrage in Massachusetts, as well as the entire nation. She organized multiple petitions and walked more than 400 miles in protest to amend the law governing women?s rights in marriage, as well as their right to serve on a jury and cast their votes in elections.The Chamber created the award to honor women in Peabody who strive to make groundbreaking differences like Upton did.Those who wish to nominate someone must submit a paragraph stating why they think this person is eligible for the category, in addition to any letters of support, articles, or list of accomplishments. Make sure to include your name, address, and phone number on all submissions.Nominations can be mailed to Peabody Chamber of Commerce, 24 Main St., Peabody, MA 01960; faxed to 978-532-7227; or e-mailed to pcc@peabodychamber.com.

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