Sharon Fulmer dedicated her life to serving her community.
Now, she’s being honored for her service.
Fulmer, who passed away in April, co-edited The Liverpool Review with Linda Loomis until 1993. She also served as president of the New York Press Association (NYPA) in 1994. In recognition of her commitment to community journalism, NYPA has decided to name its annual community leadership award the Sharon R. Fulmer Award for Community Leadership.
“The Community Leadership Award is one of the most prestigious awards we give every year as part of our annual Better Newspaper Contest,” said Michelle Rea, executive director of NYPA. “Sharon’s devotion to community leadership was clear in her time as editor of The Review and as president of NYPA. She knew how the community mattered to people.”
In addition to serving as its president, Fulmer served NYPA as chairman of its journalism advisory committee and produced its award ceremony every year. She also helped establish the Center for Community Journalism at SUNY Oswego, was a founding member of Liverpool First, served as a member of the board of trustees at the Liverpool Public Library and acted as an officer with the Liverpool Historical Society.
Because of her involvement in her community, Rea said this was the perfect award to name after Fulmer.
“She really deserved this honor,” Rea said. “She was a very good friend of mine, and she was very committed to Liverpool. We’re proud to do this for her.”
NYPA only has three other named awards: the Richard Stein Award for Overall Design Excellence, the Stuart C. Dorman Award for Editorial Excellence and the John J. Evans Award for Advertising Excellence. Of the hundreds of awards NYPA presents every year, the Sharon R. Fulmer Award for Community Leadership is the only one to carry a cash prize.
“We had people who wanted to donate money in Sharon’s name, which is another reason we decided to name this award after her,” Rea said. “The winner of the award each year will receive $500, which they will then donate to an organization in their community they feel is deserving.”
The first $500 was contributed by NYPA Foundation President Mark Backus, who said, “Naming NYPA’s community leadership award after Sharon Fulmer is an appropriate tribute to a woman who always went the extra mile for everyone.”
Fulmer’s former Review co-editor and longtime friend Loomis agreed that the honor was a fitting one.
“My friend Sharon would be thrilled with this tribute,” Loomis said. “She was a staunch supporter of community newspapers, and the NYPA board has come up with a perfect way to honor her belief that shining a light on the positive events in a community can generate a shared sense of belonging among people. I am personally thrilled that this ongoing tribute to Sharon will enhance the work she loved.”
Sarah Hall is the editor of the Eagle Star-Review and the Baldwinsville Messenger. The 2012 winner of the Syracuse Press Club's Selwyn Kershaw Professional Standards Award, she has been with Eagle Newspapers since 2006. She is a Liverpool native.