Official Rules

(Last Updated – January 10, 2022)

1. Eligibility:
Entry Submission and Voting in the Acts of Kindness Awards (hereafter, "Awards") is open only to those who are, as of the date of entry, legal permanent residents of Marion County, Florida, are eighteen (18) years of age or older and are accessible via both e-mail and phone.  Family members (i.e., husband, wife, mother, father, sister, brother, any child, and their respective spouses, regardless of where they reside), employees, agents and representatives of ACCOLADE Celebrations, are not eligible to participate or win in the Awards. Void where prohibited by law. All applicable federal, state and local laws apply.

2. Nomination Submission Period:
The contest submission period starts at 5:00:00 pm Eastern Time ("ET") on 06/01/22 and ends at 11:59:59 pm ET on 06/30/22 (hereafter, "Nomination Submission Period").

3. Nominee(s) Voting Period:
The Nominee(s) voting period starts at 10:00:00 am ET on 08/15/22 and ends at 10:00:00 pm ET on 08/19/22 (hereafter, "Nominee(s) Voting Period").

4. How To Enter a Nominee(s):
To submit a nominee, visit www.accoladecelebrations.com (hereafter, "Site") using your personal computer or mobile device during the Nomination Submission Period and follow the prompts. Nominations may be made by an individual or an organization with knowledge of the nominee(s)’ service or action.  Then complete and submit the nomination form.

a.      For self-nominations: include why you meet the criteria for the selected award category
b.     For entrants submitting on behalf of another individual: include why the individual(s) meets the criteria for the selected award category.

Submission Types:

1.     Essay: up to three hundred (300) words (including counting words such as "I", "a", etc.)
2.     Photos: up to ten (10) current, original, unaltered digital photos or images depicting the service or action
3.     Video: a video up to five (5) minutes in length

If you choose to enter using your mobile phone, standard data fees may apply. See your wireless provider for pricing plan details.

The essay, photo(s) and/or video (by themselves or in any combination) combined with the associated nomination form are hereafter each referred to as an "Entry. Limit one (1) Entry per person and per email address per Award Category for the duration of the Nomination Submission Period. In case of multiple Entries from any one person or email address in a specific Award Category, only the first Entry received in such Award Category will be accepted.  Modification of an existing work does not qualify as different or original. If the original digital photo(s)/image(s)/video were saved at a lower resolution and attached to the nomination form, save the original high resolutions for potential future use by ACCOLADE Celebrations. All Award Nominations must meet the Award Nomination Requirements set forth below. Nominees must be submitted and received during the Nominees Submission Period and no later than 11:59:59 pm ET on 06/30/22 to be eligible.

Contest Entry Requirements: Photo(s)/image(s) and video must (i) be original, on which no image editing software has been used; and (ii) only include friends, teammates or family members for whom you have secured permission (and if a minor, secured permission from such minor's parent or legal guardian) to submit Entry in the Awards. Photo(s)/image(s) must be in a JPG, JPEG or PNG file, each not exceeding 7MB in size. Video must be no more the five (5) minutes in length, in a AVI, MOV, MP4, MPEG, WMV OR FLV file not exceeding 400MB in size. To be eligible, each Entry (and individual components therein) must (i) be complete, (ii) be in English, and (iii) be your original creation and solely owned by you. In addition, to be eligible, Entry must not include any third party packaging, logos or any other third party intellectual property or general property, unless requisite permission is obtained. Entry cannot defame or invade publicity and/or intellectual property rights or the privacy of any person, living or deceased, or infringe upon any proprietary or other rights of any person or party. Entry may also not contain, as determined by ACCOLADE Celebrations in its sole discretion, any content that is sexually explicit or suggestive, violent or derogatory, profane or pornographic, contains nudity; promotes alcohol, illegal drugs, tobacco, firearms/weapons (or use of any of the foregoing); promotes any activities that may appear unsafe or dangerous; promotes any particular political agenda or message; is obscene or offensive; endorses any form of hate or hate group; defames, misrepresents or contains disparaging remarks about other people or companies; contains trademarks, logos, or trade dress (such as distinctive packaging or building exteriors/interiors) owned by others, other than as outlined above; contains any personal identification (other than as provided in the nomination form); contains materials embodying the names, likenesses, or other indicia identifying any person, including, without limitation, celebrities and/or other public or private figures, living or dead, without requisite permission; contains look-alikes of celebrities or other public or private figures, living or dead; communicates messages or images inconsistent with the positive images and/or good will to which ACCOLADE Celebrations wishes to associate; and/or violates any law. Entries deemed by ACCOLADE Celebrations, in its sole discretion, to be immoral, obscene, profane or not in keeping with ACCOLADE Celebrations’ image and values or in violation of these Official Rules will be void. In the event of non-compliance with any requirements specified herein or with any of the terms of these Official Rules, Entry will be void.

By entering nominations for the Awards, each entrant (and his/her parent/legal guardian as applicable) warrants and represents that his/her Entry is original, does not contain any material that would defame or otherwise violate or infringe upon the rights of any third party, including patents, copyrights, trademarks or rights of privacy or publicity, and will not violate any federal, state or local laws or ordinances. Entrants (and his/her parent/legal guardian as applicable) further warrant and represent that they have secured the requisite consent from any third party appearing or referenced in their Entries.

Incomplete Entries and/or Entries containing inaccurate entrant information will be disqualified at the sole discretion of ACCOLADE Celebrations. The use of script, macro or any other device to automate or subvert the entry process is prohibited and all such Entries and Entries made by any other means which subvert the entry process will be void. In the case of a dispute as to the entrant who submitted an Entry, Entry will be deemed made by the person named on the applicable nomination form (regardless of whether that is the name of the authorized account holder of the email address from which said Entry was submitted) and he/she must comply with these Official Rules. Other than as otherwise specified herein, neither ACCOLADE Celebrations, nor anyone acting on its behalf, will acknowledge any Entry (or portion thereof) received.  Any Entry not meeting all Entry requirements stated herein will be void.

If the Entry contains any material or elements that are not owned by the entrant, and/or which are subject to the rights of third parties, the entrant is responsible for obtaining, prior to submission of the Entry, any and all releases and consents necessary to permit the use and exhibition of the Entry by ACCOLADE Celebrations in the manner set forth in these Official Rules, including, without limitation, name and likeness permissions from any person who appears in or is identifiable in the Entry (and, if such person is a child or legal ward of entrant, entrant will be required to provide their consent in a form acceptable by ACCOLADE, Celebrations). If entrant is an eligible minor, he/she will be required to provide their parent or legal guardian's consent in a form acceptable by ACCOLADE Celebrations. ACCOLADE Celebrations reserves the right to request proof of these permissions in a form acceptable to ACCOLADE Celebrations from any entrant at any time. Failure to provide such proof may, if requested, render Entry null and void. By submitting an Entry, entrant warrants and represents that he/she and any persons appearing or who are identifiable in the Entry consent to the submission and use of the Entry in the Awards and to its use as otherwise set forth herein.

By submitting an Entry, entrant (and his/her parent/legal guardian as applicable) hereby (i) grants the Released Parties, without any limitation of any other rights granted herein, permission for the Entry to be posted on accoladecelebrations.com, facebook.com, and any other media platform as determined by ACCOLADE Celebrations in its sole discretion; (ii) acknowledges and agrees that his/her Entry may be shared via social media by third parties; and (iii) agrees that Released Parties are not responsible for any unauthorized use of Entries by third parties. Released Parties do not guarantee the posting of any Entry and may remove a posted Entry at any time.

By submitting an Entry, entrant (and his/her parent/legal guardian as applicable) acknowledges and agrees that ACCOLADE Celebrations may obtain many submissions under this Awards and that such Entries may be similar or identical in theme, idea, format or other respects to others submitted under this Awards and/or other Awards staged and/or sponsored by ACCOLADE Celebrations, or to other ideas conceived by or provided to ACCOLADE Celebrations and entrant waives any and all claims entrant may have had, may have, and/or may have in the future, that any Entry and/or other works accepted, reviewed and/or used by ACCOLADE Celebrations (or its designees) may be similar to his/her Entry. Except where prohibited by law, each entrant acknowledges and agrees that ACCOLADE Celebrations does not have now, nor shall it have in the future, any duty or liability, direct or indirect, vicarious, contributory, or otherwise, with respect to the infringement or protection of any copyright in and to entrant's Entry or any other right related thereto.

5. Entry Judging:
Round 1 of Judging: All eligible Entries received will be aggregated together by Award Category and judged based on the following criteria by ACCOLADE Celebrations (hereafter, the "Judging Criteria"):

1) Story: Does the Entry tell a story that captivates its audience: (0-5 points)
2) Passion: Does the Entry stir emotion in those that watch/see/read it: (0-5 points)
3) Relevance: Does the Entry meet the criteria for the respective award category):(0-5 points)
4) Sense of Community: Is the Entry something that people will want to  share with their digital community: (0-5 points)
5) Unique: Does the Entry resonate in a rare and special way:(0-5 points)

The thirty (30) Entries in each Award Category with the highest scores, as determined in Round 1 will advance to Round 2 judging. ACCOLADE Celebrations reserves the right to advance fewer than thirty (30) Entries from each Award Category to Round 2 if, in its sole discretion, it does not receive a sufficient number of eligible and qualified Entries in each Award Category. 

Round 2 of Judging: During Round 2 of judging, ACCOLADE Celebrations (in its sole discretion), will judge each of the top thirty (30) Entries for each Award Category based on the above Judging Criteria. The fifteen (15) Entries in each Award Category with the highest scores, as determined in Round 2 will advance to Round 3 judging. ACCOLADE Celebrations reserves the right to advance fewer than fifteen (15) Entries for each Award Category to Round 3 if, in its sole discretion, it does not receive a sufficient number of eligible and qualified Entries in each Award Category. 

Round 3 of Judging: During Round 3 of judging, ACCOLADE Celebrations (in its sole discretion), will judge each of the top fifteen (15) Entries in each Award Category on the above Judging Criteria. The three (3) Entries in each Award Category with the highest scores during Round 3, as determined in Round 3 of the judging will be deemed the "Potential Finalists" and advance to the Nominees Voting Period. ACCOLADE Celebrations reserves the right to advance fewer than three (3) Entries to the in each Award Category, in its sole discretion, it does not receive a sufficient number of eligible and qualified Entries in each Award Category. 

In the event of a tie during Round 1, Round 2 or Round 3 of judging, the tied Entries will be re-judged based on: Relevance: Does the Entry meet the respective Award criteria: 0-100 points. By participating, entrants agree to abide by these Official Rules and the decisions of ACCOLADE Celebrations, which is final and binding in all matters relating to The Awards. 

6. Finalist Notification:
Potential Finalists will be selected on or about 07/22/22 and will be notified approximately between 7/22/22 and 7/29/22 by telephone, email, overnight mail and/or in person. Potential Finalists will be required to execute and return an Award Nomination Consent Form with any other documents required by ACCOLADE Celebrations within two (2) days of date of issuance of notification. This information will be used ONLY for the purposes of award coordination in the case the respective Finalist is a winner. 

Further proof or verification of identity and qualifications may be required along with a background check and entrant, by participating, agrees to such check and agrees to provide full consent if required. Failure to comply may result in disqualification and, based on the criteria described above and time permitting, selection of another Finalist to compete in the Awards Voting Period. In addition, at the discretion of ACCOLADE Celebrations, potential Finalist(s) may be disqualified for any of the following, without limitation: if charged with or convicted of a felony or misdemeanor, is not eligible based on the eligibility requirements set forth above, or if delinquent on a government ordered payment, such as but not limited to: child support, spousal support, alimony, tax payments, etc. Noncompliance with any of the foregoing, with these Official Rules, the inability to contact a potential Finalist within a reasonable time period, the failure to complete and return requested documentation in a timely manner, or any notification being returned as non-deliverable may result in disqualification and, at the discretion of ACCOLADE Celebrations, a runner-up being chosen. Finalist status is subject to verification of eligibility and compliance with these Official Rules. 

Finalists' Entries will be posted on the Site during the Awards Voting Period as outlined below. 

7. Acts of Kindness Awards Voting Period:
During the Awards Voting Period, each of the Finalist Entries will be posted on the Site for public voting. To vote for a Finalist Entry in each of the three (3) Award Categories, during the Awards Voting Period, eligible individuals 18 years of age or older may visit the Site using a computer or mobile device and following the instructions provided, view each of the Finalist Entries in the three (3) Categories and click on the applicable "Vote" button to cast your vote for your favorite Finalist Entry in each Category. Limit one (1) vote submission per email address per Category. Additional votes received from the same email address in excess of the stated limitation will be void. 

At the conclusion of the Awards Voting Period, the one (1) Finalist Entry in each Award Category that received the highest number of votes will be deemed the award winner. In the event of a tie in an Award Category during the Awards Voting Period, the tied Finalist Entries in such Category will be re-judged by ACCOLADE Celebrations in its sole discretion, based on: Relevance: Does the Entry meet the award criteria: 0-100 points. Winner status is subject to verification of eligibility and compliance with these Official Rules. 

All vote counting will be conducted at the direction, and in the sole discretion, of ACCOLADE Celebrations. The use of automated devices (or any other devices intended to automate or subvert any aspect of entry or voting or any other procedure that subverts the entry process) to cast a vote is prohibited and any Entry or vote through such means will, at the sole discretion of ACCOLADE Celebrations be void. ACCOLADE Celebrations reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to void any votes of entrants whom ACCOLADE Celebrations believes has attempted to tamper with or impair the administration, security, fairness or proper play of this Awards or is in violation of these Official Rules. Finalists are prohibited from obtaining votes by any fraudulent or inappropriate means, including, without limitation, offering prizes or other inducements to members of the public and/or using any websites or online forums designed to induce individuals or provide other incentives to vote for their Finalist Entry, as determined by ACCOLADE Celebrations in its sole discretion. 

8. Prize:
One (1) Prize for each winner of an Award Category: An Award Prize consists of a commemorative engraved award and a certificate.  For any winning team, group, or organization, one individual, as designated on the nomination form, will receive the Award Prize on behalf of the team, group, or organization.  Any additional awardees beyond the designated individual for the Award Prize will receive paper certificates.   

9. Miscellaneous; Release and Limitations of Liability:
Message and data rates may apply if you choose to enter or vote using your mobile device. To participate, in either the Nomination Submission Period or Awards Voting Period, and ensure web browser compatibility, you must have the latest version of a modern browser including Internet Explorer 9+, or the latest version of Firefox, Chrome, Safari, or Opera, and JavaScript must be enabled within your browser preferences. Mobile browser compatibility includes default browsers on iOS 6 (or higher) and Android. No transfer, assignment, cash redemption, or substitution of prize (or portion thereof) except by ACCOLADE Celebrations who reserves the right to substitute a prize (or applicable portion thereof) with one of comparable or greater value, as determined by ACCOLADE Celebrations. Entrants agree, by entering, that 1) ACCOLADE Celebrations may use (unless prohibited by law), entrant's name, city and state of residence, Entry, Finalist Entry, photograph, any recording (voice, film, video), and/or likeness for advertising, trade and/or any other purposes in any media (including but not limited to online at accoladecelebrations.com, facebook.com or other websites and/or social media platforms) now or hereafter known throughout the world in perpetuity, without further compensation, permission or notification, and 2) the Released Parties and Facebook shall have no liability and will be held harmless by entrant for any claim, action, liability, loss, injury or damage to entrant or any other person or entity, including, without limitation, personal injury or death to entrant or any other person or damage to personal or real property, due in whole or in part, directly or indirectly, by reason of the acceptance, possession, use or misuse of any prize or participation in the Awards or the use of any Entries or Finalist Entries by ACCOLADE Celebrations, its designees or any third party. ACCOLADE Celebrations reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to modify, terminate or suspend this Awards (or any portion thereof) should virus, bugs, non-authorized human intervention or other causes corrupt or impair the administration, security, fairness or proper play of the Awards (or any portion thereof) and, in the event of termination, at its discretion, select the Finalists and/or prize winners (as applicable) for each Award Category from those eligible, non-suspect Entries or Finalist Entries (as applicable) received prior to event requiring such termination using the applicable judging procedure/winner selection outlined herein and eligible, non-suspect votes as applicable. 

License/Use of Entries: By entering, and to the extent allowed by law, entrants  warrant and represent that ACCOLADE Celebrations and its designees shall have a perpetual, worldwide, royalty-free, non-exclusive, sub licensable, unconditional and transferable license to edit, adapt, modify, publish, exploit and use their Entry (and all material embodied therein) in any way and in any and all media now known (including, but not limited to, online, in social media) or hereinafter discovered or devised, world-wide for trade, advertising, promotional, public relations and/or other purposes as ACCOLADE Celebrations and/or its designees may determine without further permission from, or notification or consideration to entrants or any third parties. 

Entrants further agree to abide by these Official Rules and the decisions of ACCOLADE Celebrations and judges, which shall be final and binding. Entrant's submission of an Entry and/or vote constitutes his/her representation of eligibility, consent to participate in the Awards and consent for ACCOLADE Celebrations to obtain, use, and transfer his/her name, address and other information for the purpose of the Awards administration. Released Parties are not responsible for lost, incomplete, invalid, unintelligible, inaccurate, undeliverable, garbled, late, stolen, damaged or misdirected Entries, Finalist Entries or votes, all of which will be disqualified; failures or malfunctions of phones, phone lines or telephone systems or other communications or malfunctions; interrupted or unavailable network, server, cable, satellite, Internet Service Provider (ISP) or other connections; miscommunications, failed computer hardware or software or other technical failures; garbled, lost, misrouted or scrambled transmissions; any error, omission, interruption, defect or delay in any transmission or communication; traffic congestion on the Internet or for any technical problem, including but not limited to any injury or damage to entrants' or any other person's computer related to or resulting from participation in the Contest; theft, destruction or unauthorized access to, or alteration of, Entries, Finalist Entries or votes; the creation and production of Finalist Entry or human-processing error; printing, typographical or other errors or omissions in these Official Rules or in any Awards-related advertisements or other materials; or other errors or problems of any kind whether mechanical, human, technical, network, electronic; or errors which may occur in connection with the administration of the Awards, the incorrect uploading of Entries, the processing or judging of Entries, creation and production of Finalist Entries or the tabulation of votes, the awarding or announcement of the winners or Finalists or in any other Awards-related materials. ACCOLADE Celebrations reserves the right to void and remove any and all Entries and/or Finalist Entries of an entrant or votes of a voter who ACCOLADE Celebrations believes has attempted to tamper with, influence, or impair the administration, security, fairness, judging or proper play of the Awards and such entrant/voter will be disqualified and all associated Entries, Finalist Entries and/or votes will be void. All Entries (including Finalist Entries) become property of ACCOLADE Celebrations and will not be returned. CAUTION: ANY ATTEMPT TO DELIBERATELY DAMAGE ANY WEBSITE OR UNDERMINE THE LEGITIMATE OPERATION OF THE AWARDS IS A VIOLATION OF CRIMINAL AND CIVIL LAWS AND SHOULD SUCH AN ATTEMPT BE MADE, ACCOLADE CELEBRATIONS RESERVES THE RIGHT TO SEEK ANY AND ALL REMEDIES AVAILABLE FROM ANY SUCH PERSON(S) FOR THE ATTEMPT TO THE FULLEST EXTENT PERMITTED BY LAW. 

10. Arbitration:
Except where prohibited by law, as a condition of participating in this Awards, participant agrees that (1) any and all disputes and causes of action arising out of or connected with this Awards, or any prizes awarded, shall be resolved individually, without resort to any form of class action, and exclusively by final and binding arbitration under the rules of the American Arbitration Association and held at the AAA regional office nearest the entrant; (2) the Federal Arbitration Act shall govern the interpretation, enforcement and all proceedings at such arbitration; and (3) judgment upon such arbitration award may be entered in any court having jurisdiction. Under no circumstances will participant be permitted to obtain awards for, and participant hereby waives all rights to claim, punitive, incidental or consequential damages, or any other damages, including attorneys' fees, other than entrant's actual out-of-pocket expenses (i.e., costs associated with participating in this Awards), and entrant further waives all rights to have damages multiplied or increased. 

11. Choice of Law:
All issues and questions concerning the construction, validity, interpretation and enforceability of these Official Rules, or the rights and obligations of participant and ACCOLADE Celebrations in connection with the Awards, shall be governed by, and construed in accordance with, the substantive laws of the State of Florida, USA. 

12. Winner's List:
For the names of the winners (available following the Acts of Kindness Awards Gala), send a self-addressed, stamped envelope to: ACCOLADE Celebrations, LLC, P.O. Box 770671, Ocala, FL, 34477.