Eligibility, Criteria, and Examples

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  1. Awarded annually to one Cary citizen
  2. Nominees must be Cary citizens (Town employees, current elected officials and individuals in an official race for an elected position, anyone who has served as an elected official in the past 20 years, and memorial nominations in honor of deceased citizens are not eligible)
  3. Nominators must be Cary citizens
  4. Nominees must be 21 years of age and older
  5. Nominees must demonstrate leadership and integrity and have no disqualifying factors
  6. Nominees must be respected by their peers
  7. An individual may only receive this award once


One award will be given annually to honor a Cary citizen who enhances the quality of life in Cary by preserving, promoting and carrying out positive and quantifiable traditional small-town community values and traits as embodied in the following criteria:

  • Cary citizen
  • 21 years of age and older
  • Demonstrates leadership
  • Demonstrates integrity
  • Respected by peers

And by exhibiting some of the following traits:

  • Helps out neighbors and fellow Cary citizens
    e.g., starting a program where citizens can volunteer to help each other with home repairs or simply going beyond the call of duty in assisting other citizens 

  • Demonstrates hospitality
    e.g., someone who welcomes new citizens, citizens and visitors, and helps them get to know the town and its small-town culture and helps them adjust to a new environment, or simply a citizen who exhibits “Southern” or “Cary” hospitality in an ongoing or extraordinary manner. 

  • Promotes and preserves traditional American past-times
    e.g., bringing citizens together as a community in traditional ways by organizing or being a key volunteer for such events as a founder’s day celebration, a heritage music event, hayrides, ice cream socials, picnics, bandstand events, etc. 

  • Shows a concern for preservation and works to preserve traditions and the small-town atmosphere in the community
    e.g., working to preserve historical Cary documents, structures, or events or someone who leads the charge to make Cary more family friendly 

  • Promotes a sense of community in their neighborhood and all of Cary
    e.g., starting fun family friendly activities in his/her neighborhood where citizens have the chance to meet and interact with one another 

  • Demonstrates patriotism through promotion and preservation of the country's symbols and dedication to the U.S. military, past and present
    e.g., organizing or being a key volunteer for a formal event to honor our veterans or current military members 

  • Serves the community through business
    e.g., a business owner who goes above and beyond their role to support and provide a service to the community in a down-home, selfless, generous and hospitable manner.

Examples of the various values and traits are given for illustrative purposes. The actual nomination information may vary from the examples given but should fit within one or more of the major category areas as defined above.

Current Town of Cary employees are not eligible. Current elected officials are not eligible. Cary citizens who have served in any elected official capacity in the past 20 years are not eligible. Memorial awards will not be given in honor of deceased Cary citizens. Individuals may only receive the award once.

Disqualifying Factors

A person is not eligible to be a Hometown Spirit Award nominee if the person has been found guilty of any of the following crimes: 

(Guilty means that a person was found guilty following a trial, entered a guilty plea, entered a no contest plea accompanied by a court finding of guilty, regardless of whether there was an adjudication of guilt (conviction) or a withholding of guilt. This recommendation does not apply if criminal charges resulted in acquittal, Nolle Prosse, or dismissal.)

Sex Offenses

  • All Sex Offenses, regardless of the amount of time since offense.


  • All Felony Offenses, regardless of the amount of time since offense.


  • All misdemeanors involving a minor (unless the applicant was themselves a minor), regardless of the amount of time since the offense.
  • All misdemeanor violence offenses within the past 7 years.
  • All other misdemeanor offenses within the past 5 years or more than one offense in the past 10 years.

Pending Cases

We will ask the nominee to disclose to the Town if any of the above charges are pending at the time of nomination.