Mayor Chris Beutler presented the third annual Lincoln Luminary Award to Jim McKee and Linda Hillegass at the Winter Lights celebration Dec. 7 at Tower Square. The award winners, their family and friends, and Santa were among those who arrived for the celebration in one of Lincoln’s new downtown trolleys.
Leadership Lincoln facilitates the Luminary Award, which honors those who have “displayed consistent and intentional actions that demonstrate Lincoln’s values, and who have gone above and beyond in making an impact on Lincoln and its citizens.”
McKee and Hillegass are longtime owners of Lee Booksellers. McKee also owns The Coinery and maintains a publishing business. As a well-known local historian, McKee writes a weekly column for the Lincoln Journal Star and gives many community presentations. Hillegass gives her time to many nonprofits, including the Lincoln Literacy Council, Food Bank of Lincoln and Lincoln City Libraries.
The Winter Lights event also included performances by the Northeast High School Chamber Singers and the La Iglesia De La Comunidad Church band. Event partners include the Parks and Recreation Department, Leadership Lincoln, Downtown Lincoln Association (DLA), Lincoln Parks Foundation and StarTran.
After the award presentation, many attendees hopped on the trolleys for free tours of the DLA holiday lights. The two new trolleys are fueled by compressed natural gas (CNG) and feature vintage-style, cushioned, oak benches, brass molding, leather handgrips and a bell, along with
all the amenities of a modern bus. Trolley rides will be free through February and just 25 cents after that. For more information, visit trolley.lincoln.ne.gov.