For us gearheads, a spark plug, of course, is “a device designed to fit in each cylinder of a gasoline-powered internal-combustion engine and to produce the electric spark for igniting the mixture of gasoline and air” (thank you, dictionary.com). But the term “spark plug” can take on a metaphorical meaning too, as evidenced by the plethora of “Spark Plug Awards” out there.
For instance, the Technology & Maintenance Council of American Trucking Associations’ highest honor, the Silver Spark Plug award, goes to trucking professionals who have made outstanding contributions to the improvement of truck equipment, maintenance, technology and management practices. If you’re a trucker, you might have heard of one of the current Silver Spark Plug award winners, Robert Maye, a regular on Sirius/XM Satellite Radio show, “Tech Talk with TMC.”
The Boy Scouts of America also hands out Spark Plug Awards to boy scouts for meritorious service, plus Silver Spark Plug and Golden Spark Plug awards for adult volunteers who go above and beyond the call of duty.
The United States Power Squadrons, America’s largest nonprofit boating organization, gives its annual Spark Plug Award to the new member who has contributed the most time and effort to the organization. The USPS boasts 45,000 members in 450 squadrons nationwide and is dedicated to making boating safer and more enjoyable by teaching classes in seamanship, navigation and other related subjects. Three US presidents have honored the USPS for its civic contributions.
The University of Wisconsin’s Wisconsin Alumni Association doles out its annual WAA Sparkplug Award to the alumni chapter member “who has consistently and over an extended period of time provided the spark that keeps the alumni chapter programming strong and vibrant.”
The Greater Houston Women’s Chamber of Commerce honors young female professionals sure to be among the city’s brightest and boldest future leaders with its annual Spark Plug Award.
One of our favorites: The Illinois Department of Agriculture’s annual Miss Illinois County Fair Pageant hands out the Ruby Crum Memorial Award aka the “Spark Plug Award” to the county fair queen who exudes charm and enthusiasm that sets her apart from her competitors. The current Spark Plug title holder is Miss Montgomery County Fair Sara Crocks of Litchfield.
Do you know of a spark plug award we missed? Leave us a comment. And if you’re itching for a win on the racetrack, or just want a strong, smooth ride down the open road be sure to stock your vehicle with E3 performance spark plugs.