FARMINGTON — The 2014 Farmington Gem Award was presented to Richard and Judy Bjorn on Saturday prior to the downtown Summer Fest evening concert at North Church.

This past year’s recipient, Emily Floyd, passed the engraved plaque on to the couple, Ron Gelinas, founder of the award, said. They’ll keep it a couple months and then it will be posted in Ron and Cindy Gelinas’ Broadway store, MaineStone Jewelry, for the rest of the year.

It’s a people’s choice award, he said. Citizens nominate someone they feel has contributed to the town.

“It’s nice to recognize outstanding people who donate their time and energy to the town,” Gelinas said. 

The award was started five years ago by MaineStone Jewelry.

Along with the recent support from the Bjorns to make the former town garage lot into a gateway to Farmington, a park at the intersection of High Street and Farmington Falls Road, other acts of kindness and generosity were remembered.

These included donations and support of the RSU 9 Mt. Blue campus renovation with a new auditorium and stage and a garage for the Farmington Police Department and other projects at the University of Maine at Farmington, Franklin Memorial Hospital and Franklin County Animal Shelter.

Several athletic teams at Titcomb Mountain Ski Area, Hippach Field and the Community Center have benefited from their generosity, Cindy Gelinas told those attending the concert.

Bjorn’s Kyes Insurance Agency is also a tribute to Farmington, Gelinas said. With branches and outside facilities in Skowhegan, Livermore Falls and Rumford, it employs 45 for full- or part-time workers, Gelinas said.

Along with working at Mt. Blue High School for several years, Judy Bjorn volunteers her time and efforts at the Pierce House, Old South Congregational Church and Mallett School, Gelinas said.

“Behind every good man is a good wife,” Ron Gelinas said Tuesday.

The Bjorns were the leading nominees for this year’s award, Cindy Gelinas said.

“It is safe to say that no other couple in Farmington’s history has been as significant a benefactor of so many causes,” she said. “Thank you, Dick and Judy, you are truly Farmington Gems.”

Other recipients of the award included Scott Planting the first year, then Patricia Hayden, Darlene Mooar and Emily Floyd, Ron Gelinas said.

John Anderson of Trask Jewelers engraves their names each year on the plaque, he said.

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