With hundreds of pink and red geraniums decorating the lawn, and flowered vines creeping up the triple-arched porch, the Santi household looks more like a European cottage than a typical Sandusky home.
That's fitting because Teresa Santi is from Poland and her husband, Vincent (Vincenzo), is from Italy.
The Santis, along with 10 other property owners, received P.R.I.D.E Awards at the city commission meeting Monday night, honoring their dedication to beautifying their households and businesses.
"It's nice, nice moment for us," Teresa said in her broken English. She speaks fluent Polish and Italian. "We do what we can. I like if my house look nice. It's great source of satisfaction and pride for us."
The P.R.I.D.E. Awards, hosted by the Sandusky Neighborhood Advisory Committee, stands for "Pride Results in Desirable Environments."
Winners were nominated by other residents -- there were about 100 nominations total -- and the winners received gift certificates to one of 11 Sandusky restaurants.
Darlene Armour, vice president of the Neighborhood Advisory Committee, said a significant increase in nominations from last year, when there were less than 50, is evidence residents are taking more pride in their city.
"I feel the many, many more nominations are a good measure," Armour said. "If you drive around there are so many really nice houses. ... It helps the overall feeling of the city."
Armour thanked East Side Cafe, Thirsty Pony, Sortino's Little Italy, Zinc Brasserie, Kaman's Korner, Berardi's Family Kitchen, Toft's Dairy, Damon's Grill, Port Sandusky, The Lunch Box and Jo Wok for providing gift certificates. Joe Sundae's provided coffee for the ceremony that preceded the commission meeting.
Debra Kurtz, whose West Osborne Street home -- adorned with ferns and flowers and bushes in the front yard -- also earned an award, said she was flabbergasted she won. Her and her husband, James, have lived in the same house for 30 years.
"I'm just really excited," she said. "I didn't expect this."
- Sandra Irby, 1423 West Larchmont Street
- Bryan & Wendy Lippus, 1201 Waverly Road
- Ron & Julie Brooks, 1206 Columbus Avenue
- Gary Neill & James Miller, 231 East Washington Street
- Richard & Michaele Keller, 1429 Columbus Avenue
- James & Debra Kurtz, 820 West Osborne Street
- Thomas Cromer, Jr., 1412 Buchanan Street
- Walter & Louise Cunningham, 1806 Pierce Street
- Vincent and Teresa Santi, 2713 14th Street
- Frank & Karen Baker, 305 42nd Street
- David Koch, Koch Funeral Home, 520 Columbus Ave.