TEMPLE TERRACE — A tradition launched 46 years ago to acknowledge an outstanding citizen of the year continues on Aug. 27 when a new winner is named at a milestone celebration for the area chamber of commerce.
The Greater Temple Terrace Chamber of Commerce has narrowed its annual search for the “Outstanding Citizen of Temple Terrace” for 2013 to three well-known women who have distinguished themselves through community service.
Cindy Kocher, Maryrose Owens and Sherrill Tomasino are finalists for the chamber’s 50th annual Award and Installation Banquet at the Museum of Science & Industry, 4801 E. Fowler Ave.
A reception will begin at 6 p.m. followed by dinner, the awards presentation and a new officers installation program at 7 p.m.
“I think the committee was intrigued with all three individuals,” said Barbara Sparks-McGlinchy, executive director of the Greater Temple Terrace Chamber of Commerce. “These ladies give a lot of themselves. They are all winners.”
All three are noted for their contributions to increase the city’s image as a good place to live, work and play.
Kocher is the human resource director at the Northside Mental Health Center, where she has worked for 29 years.
She is a founder of the Northside Mental Health Auxiliary, a nonprofit organization dedicated to raising money to support the Phone Friend program, an after school service for young children who would like someone to talk to when they get home from school.
Kocher served as co-chairperson of the Temple Terrace Relay for Life, chairwoman of the Temple Terrace Fourth of July Parade and Festivities Committee twice, and president of the chamber of commerce for 2000-01.
She has received the chamber’s President’s Award, the Bob Woodard Award, the 2013 Public Citizen of the Year by the Florida Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers for outstanding service to the community.
Owens is a retired registered nurse who has served as president of the Temple Terrace Women’s Club, president of the Friendship Club and served on the Woodmont Clubhouse Association board.
She has been a Meals on Wheels volunteer for 38 years, since shortly after the area program began. Owens has organized food drives for the St. Vincent de Paul Pantry and children Christmas toy drives.
Owens is a Riverhills Elementary School volunteer and organizes fundraisers for the Support the Troops program.
She has been honored as the Florida Women’s Club District 8 Volunteer of the Year and a Meals on Wheels Volunteer of the Year.
If Owens wins, she would be the first repeat recipient of the chamber’s outstanding citizen award. She received the award for 1998-99.
Tomasino is the president of Sherwood Forest Center Inc., a shopping center on North 56th Street that she has co-owned for nearly 29 years.
She served on the University of South Florida Board of Trustees for six years and was the liaison to the USF Polytechnic campus in Lakeland. Tomasino is the chairwoman of the USF Byrd Alzheimer’s Institute and Research Center board of directors.
Tomasino has served as a chamber of commerce board member and was chairwoman of the chamber’s legislative committee for 10 years. She received the Distinguished Service Award from USF Polytechnic in 2008.
The late former Mayor Bob Woodard was named the recipient of the chamber’s first “Outstanding Citizen of Temple Terrace” award for 1966-67.