DeYoung Award nominations sought

·2 min read

Sep. 17—TRAVERSE CITY — After a year without its annual dinner or a winner of the Lyle DeYoung Award, organizers say the 2021 honor is even more important.

Applications are being sought for the 2021 Lyle DeYoung Award for a community member who has made a significant contribution to the vitality of downtown Traverse City.

The award is named for the late Lyle DeYoung, a downtown leader who died in 1992. Traverse City Downtown Development Authority CEO Jean Derenzy said the award for "service to downtown and community" was something DeYoung epitomized.

"Lyle was a strong advocate for a clean and friendly downtown and was a voice of encouragement to everyone downtown beginning in business," Derenzy said in an email. "This award was created to pay tribute to his memory and honor downtown leaders who demonstrate the same positive community commitment to our wonderful downtown.

"Service to community and downtown was a big part of why we named this award in Lyle's memory."

Derenzy said every DeYoung Award winner is special, but this year's award takes on a little extra meaning. There was no 2020 winner named.

"Being a leader and advocate to shop small, shop local and support downtown has not been easy, but particularly over the last two years the struggles were compounded, making this award more important than ever in 2021," Derenzy said in the email.

A business or community leader can be nominated for the 2021 Lyle DeYoung Award by emailing Derenzy at The nomination should include an overview of the nominee and a reason for the nomination.

All nominations will be confidential. Nominations need to be emailed by Oct. 8.

The recipient will be honored on Oct. 28.

DeYoung began working as a stock boy when his father purchased DeYoung's in 1941, according to a release.

After graduating from Michigan State University with a business degree, DeYoung and his wife, Pat, returned to Traverse City in 1964 and "built their business into a thriving downtown institution over the next several decades," according to the release.

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