SAUK VILLAGE | It may be a funny name, but Sauk Village residents consider it a badge of honor to win a "Hootsie" award.
The village beautification committee honors residents and business who "take pride in their homes and in highlighting them."
"The idea is to get everyone to strive to get these awards," beautification committee chair Marva Campbell-Pruitt said. "Some (residents) take it really seriously."
Campbell-Pruitt said the name is derived from "Give a hoot, don't pollute," the catchphrase of the U.S. Forest Preserve's Woodsy the Owl. Campbell-Pruitt wasn't quite sure when the awards were first issued, but Woodsy was popular in the early 1970s.
The Hootsie was on a hiatus — Campbell-Pruitt said she wasn't sure quite how long — but was reinstated in 2010.
Winners are given a sign to display in front of their home or business and are presented a certificate by Mayor David Hanks. Judging begins the week of July 15, and winners will be announced at the August village board meeting.
"The recognition of that sign in your yard causes pride," Campbell-Pruitt said. "Neighbors see it and congratulate each other."
The judging committee is made up of volunteers from the village, headed by Beth Zupon. The committee visits each nominated residence or business with a specialized ranking sheet. Points are tallied, and Hootsies are given in four categories: single-family residences, multi-family complexes, businesses and government/religious institutions.
Residents can nominate themselves, their neighbors or village businesses, churches and organization by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or contacting the Sauk Village beautification committee on Facebook.