The Spirit of Gainesville award will be presented to individuals who have made a significant impact to the betterment of the community through unselfish contributions of their time, energy, and talents in the five categories: community service, arts, medicine, entrepreneurship, and sportsmanship. Frequent GLOB contributor and Veteran's Affairs Hospital Brain and Rehabilitation Research Center Editorial and Communications Assistant Lynn Dirk nominated the GLOB Master because “through the [GLOB] that Mike Sanford created and maintains completely through his own efforts, he has rallied the community around local restaurants that serve lunch and all those who are trying to answer the question, ‘Where should we go for lunch?’"
Ms. Dirk's nomination of Mike Sanford and three other nominations for the GLOB Master can be viewed on the Gainesville Sun website.
Nominations for the Gator Spirit Award have been extended through Friday, September 16. To support Mike's nomination, or nominate another individual, there is a form you can complete and submit on the Gainesville Sun website. The information you provide will be posted online and others may also join in to support each nominee. Winners will be announced at the end of November.
Lynn Dirk's nomination of Mike Sanford:
For the past year, through the Gainesville Lunch Out Blog (GLOB) website (http://www.gatorglob.com/) that Mike Sanford created and maintains completely through his own efforts, Mike has rallied the community around local restaurants that serve lunch and all those who are trying to answer the question, "Where should we go for lunch?" At one time or another, that is just about everyone in Gainesville, and the people of Gainesville are responding. Currently the website has gotten 1.5 million page views per month for the last three months.
With the GLOB, Mike has created a unique and totally local website FOR Gainesvillians ABOUT Gainesville. The GLOB provides free advertising for the small Gainesville businesses, which most restaurants are, in the form of a blog page for every one of the more than 240 restaurants that serve lunch. To emphasize the local nature of the GLOB, he does not include chain restaurants if there are more than three locations in Gainesville. In addition, on the GLOB and in the Daily GLOB, an email newsletter announcing what is new on GLOB, Mike publishes information about nonprofit and arts events as a public service.
Why does Mike do this? He is a long-time resident of Gainesville and simply loves Hogtown. His dedication and absolute joy in producing the GLOB sustain him and drive him to devote himself to nurturing this unique local resource. The GLOB is a product of Mike's love of the news business, which he inherited from his father, a newsman in his own right, and Mike's love of food, his natural friendliness, and his ability to bring people together.
A second nomination
Mike came up with this incredible idea with the "GLOB" some time ago and he pulled it off! I look forward to his 'daily GLOB' every day.
He's such a sweet guy and he really knows Gainesville. He is such an asset to Gainesvile Chamber of Commerce. He lets you know what's happening around town as well as giving glorious reviews on all the local eateries. He's a great humanitarian and is just an all round great GLOB master.
I hope he gets the nomination. They don't come any better.
--Submitted by E. Kelly
Mike clearly represents the spirit of Gainesville because his innovative lunch GLOB is all about this city. If you are looking for the unusual and local places to eat, this tells you where to go and gives a bit of local history along the way. He deliberately ignores the chains on Archer Road to stress the places special to this town.
Mike is a long-time resident and appreciates the uniqueness of this city and this service reflects this.
-- Submitted by Jon Roosenraad
Mike has put restaurants on the local map that would normally not be considered big time. He gets to the Mom and Pop operations with a conscience. They do not have big signs or adds which is what Gainesville needs to know more of and support.
-- Submitted by Lulu