Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Governor's Brightest Star Awards Program?
This program is designed to recognize Idahoans who generously volunteer their time and talents to improve the lives of others through public service. Governor C. L. “Butch” Otter and First Lady Lori Otter have carried on the tradition of the past two governors in recognizing outstanding volunteers throughout the state of Idaho.
Citizens from across Idaho are encouraged to nominate outstanding individuals and groups to be recognized by the Governor and First Lady at the Governor’s Brightest Star Awards Ceremony annually in November. This event provides an excellent opportunity to shine a light on those unsung heroes in your community and to say thank you to those who have been good community partners. Volunteerism has no age limit. Past honorees have ranged in age from eight to eighty.
Serve Idaho, the Governor’s Commission on Service and Volunteerism, is proud to administer the Governor’s Brightest Star Awards program. Serve Idaho’s mission is to encourage volunteerism and community service throughout Idaho.
How do I nominate a Governor’s Brightest Star?
You can find nomination forms and instructions for each category here. Nominations may be submitted directly using the form on this website. In addition to completing the nomination form, you may submit up to four (4) pages of supporting documents for each nomination. Please include the name of the nominee on the top right-hand corner of each page of your supporting documents.
What do nominees receive?
All nominees who meet the Governor’s Brightest Star criteria will be honored. All Brightest Stars will have a photo opportunity with First Lady Lori Otter. They will also receive a certificate, a pin and a Governor’s Brightest Star Awards commemorative book. Groups will receive up to six Brightest Star pins and commemorative books.
The Governor’s Brightest Stars who are chosen to be featured during the event will have a photo opportunity with Governor C. L. “Butch” Otter and First Lady Lori Otter. They will also receive a certificate, pin and commemorative book.
Who wins the Governor’s Brightest Star Awards?
Every qualified nominee is a winner and will be recognized during the Governor’s Brightest Star Awards Ceremony. A variety of Brightest Stars from each category will be featured on stage at the event.
How are the nominations reviewed?
The Serve Idaho staff reviews nominations to ensure they meet the minimum requirements. Nominations are then sent, by category, to Citizen Review Panels across Idaho. A consistent process is utilized to review nominations and select a designated number of top nominations in each category. From those nominees, the Governor and First Lady will select a Brightest Star Volunteer of the Year in each category. Additionally, Governor and Mrs. Otter will have the opportunity to review all of the nominations and learn about the inspiring volunteer efforts that are taking place throughout Idaho.
May I submit a DVD or video as part of the supporting documentation?
No. DVD's and videos will not be accepted. Examples of supporting documents include, but are not limited to, newspaper articles, letters of support, photographs, thank you letters to the volunteer, etc.
Are there alternate methods for submitting a Governor’s Brightest Star nomination?
Yes. To request a Governor’s Brightest Star nomination packet, call Serve Idaho at 208-332-3578 or 1-800-588-3334 (within Idaho). A nomination packet will be sent to you via US Postal Service. Reasonable accommodations are available upon request to individuals with disabilities. Please dial 1-711 for TTY Idaho Relay Service.
When you receive your packet, print or type all of the requested information in the specified fields. You may include up to four (4) pages of supporting documentation with the nominee’s name in the top right corner.
We recommend you make a copy of the nomination form and supporting documents for your records prior to submitting your packet. Materials submitted to Serve Idaho will not be returned to the nominator.
Submit nomination materials via US Postal Service to Serve Idaho, 317 W. Main Street, Boise, Idaho, 83735. Serve Idaho is a division of the Idaho Department of Labor.
When and where will the Governor’s Brightest Star Awards ceremony take place?
The place and time for the 2013 awards ceremony will be announced at a later time. Invitations will be sent to all of the Governor’s Brightest Star nominees and their nominators. Families, friends and coworkers are also invited to help celebrate the generosity, commitment and accomplishments of Idaho’s Brightest Stars.
Do all of the Governor’s Brightest Star nominees have to have a background check?
No. Only nominees selected as a Brightest Star Volunteer of the Year and those chosen to be featured during the Governor’s Brightest Star Awards Ceremony are subject to a background check by the Office of the Governor.
What is the nomination deadline?
All nomination forms and supporting documentation, if included, must be received in the Serve Idaho office by 5:00 p.m. Mountain Standard Time on October 1, 2013.
May I submit more than one nomination?
You may submit one nomination in each category. Please do not solicit others to submit nominations in support of the same individual or group.
What are the nomination categories?
There are seven nomination categories are as follows: Individual, Student, School, Senior, Organization, Small Business, and Corporation.
Who is eligible for nomination as a Governor’s Brightest Star?
- Idaho residents currently living within the state
- Those who have performed volunteer services in Idaho within the past year
- Companies that conduct business in Idaho (If headquarters are located out-of-state, local affiliates must be actively engaged.)
Who is not eligible for nomination as a Governor’s Brightest Star?
- Self-nominees in the Individual and Student categories
- Office of the Governor staff and immediate family members
- Currently appointed Serve Idaho Commissioners and immediate family members
- Serve Idaho staff and immediate family members
- Governor’s Brightest Star Awards Committee and immediate family members
Who is eligible to submit nominations for the Governor’s Brightest Star Awards?
- Idahoans of all ages
- Representatives of companies with headquarters outside of Idaho that have actively engaged local affiliates doing business within the state
Who is not eligible to submit nominations for Governor’s Brightest Star Awards?
- The Governor’s Brightest Star Awards Committee Chair
- Serve Idaho staff members
- Office of the Governor staff members
- The editor of the Governor’s Brightest Stars commemorative book
Will nominees who receive more than one nomination have an advantage over others?
No. Seeking multiple nominations for an individual or group will not present any advantage to a nominee.
What if I have a question that has not been answered?
If you have any additional questions regarding the nomination or selection process, please e-mail Serve Idaho at email@example.com or call 208-332-3578 or 1-800-588-3334. Reasonable accommodations are available upon request to individuals with disabilities. Dial 1-711 for TTY Idaho Relay Service.
What if I want to nominate someone as a surprise; do I have to include his/her contact information?
Yes. We will need the contact information for both you and your Governor's Brightest Star nominee. Regarding the surprise -- we won't tell if you don't tell -- at least through the first part of the process. If your nominee is selected to be featured during the Governor's Brightest Star Awards Ceremony, someone from the Office of the Governor may contact your nominee for his/her social security number to conduct a background check. All nominees will receive an invitation to the Governor’s Brightest Star Awards Ceremony as all nominees are honored during this event.