Sapulpa City Councilor Louis Martin, Jr. was surprised at Monday’s City Council meeting to learn that he’d been chosen as a Top 100 national winner of the 2021 Small Town America Civic Volunteer Award.
Martin, who was nominated by City Manager Joan Riley, was selected from nearly 600 nominees in 49 different states and was one of only two listed on the winning website from Oklahoma. The notification letter Riley read from described Martin’s 27-years of service as “an inspiration to all and is exactly what the organizers of this award program had in mind when it was developed.”
Riley’s nomination letter sent in CivicPlus—the developer and distributor of the Small Town America Civic Volunteer Award program—called Martin “the personification of authentic and dedicated service.”
In addition to Martin’s service as a city council member, Riley made note of Martin’s influence in various committees, and highlighted his unique position as Vice-Mayor in 2020. “Lou stepped in to fill in as Mayor when Sapulpa’s Mayor passed away. Lou kept the city well-grounded and informed during the trying times of COVID-19, declaring a State of Emergency, and assuring our citizens everything was being done to protect families, jobs, and small business.”
“While his visible contributions are many, his behind-the-scenes commitment to our citizens make Lou a true unsung hero. In short, Lou has a huge heart for people. He leads a group of volunteers who identify and solve challenges. These challenges include everything from helping citizens clean up following a storm removing debris and hauling off the brush, making home repairs, clearing fence rose, and making the connections to bring Meals On Wheels to our older citizens and shut-ins. This past summer, to defray the cost of clearing trees and brush so a newly-painted mural on Route 66 could be visible from the highway, Lou and his volunteers reduced time and quantity of work by voluntarily doing a large portion themselves. His efforts reduced the amount contracted to complete the job, boosting our beautification efforts and our limited funds … He serves his church as a deacon and steps up to act as a chaplain during disaster relief. If Lou sees a problem, he acts on it. Lou is a quiet leader, a humble servant, a doer who never has to be asked to help—he just does it. Lou is the best volunteer a community could hope for.”