Paces Receive City’s Eighth Spirit of Union Award

Sarah Pace likes to see a lot of color around her place - “I like pink, yellow, red, purple,” says the Northmont native of the many blooms of flowers surrounding her property. Sarah and her husband Michael are the recent recipients of the City of Union’s eighth Spirit of Union award.

Michael Pace also grew up in Northmont. He most recently lived in Florida before moving back to Union three years ago. He bought their home, 101 South Old Mill Road, in October 2000. Sarah had been away from Northmont for 30 years before moving back and marrying Michael in May 2001.

“I can’t take all of the credit (for our yard),” Sarah said. “A lot of the landscaping was there when we moved in.”

But the Paces immersed themselves in additional “spruce-up” efforts by adding flowerbeds and moving some plants around. They have lots of lilies, geraniums, marigolds, mums, impatiens, rose bushes, and a big tree out front.

Their bi-level home features a large picture window, which Sarah likes to adorn with theme-related decorations. For example, for the recent Fourth of July holiday, she had hung a terry-cloth banner of the Statue of Liberty and the American flag. The Paces also fix up the window for Christmas and Easter.

They split yard chores down the middle - Michael handles mowing and the like, and Sarah maintains the flowerbeds. In May, Michael suffered a heart attack, which he has recovered from. But during his convalescence, his son, Gary, and friends and neighbors helped Sarah maintain the property. “The hardest thing was to keep Michael from cutting the grass!” Sarah said.

Sarah said she and Michael were pleasantly surprised at receiving the Spirit of Union award. “We fixed up our yard not to be in a competition but for the pleasure of it.”

The first recipients of the Spirit of Union Award were Jerry and Shirley Hissong in 1997. The second recipients of the award were James and Marilyn Goodman in 1998. In 1999, there were two recipients: the Kessler Family (Debi and Ken), who received the third Spirit award; and the Harper Family (Darla and Scott), who received the fourth award. In 2000, there also were two recipients: Chris and Tim Van Atta received the fifth Spirit award, and Greg McFadden and Rosemary Broderick received the sixth award. Dave and Joy Aran of 106 Deubner Drive received the City of Union’s seventh Spirit of Union Award in 2001.

The Spirit of Union award recognizes property owners whose yards exemplify extra-special care. Business owners also are eligible for the Spirit award. The award was established and winners are selected by the City’s Park Board. To make nominations, please contact the City at 836-8624, or email your nomination by visiting the City’s Website at