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First Citizen tickets available

Tickets still are available for Thursday’s First Citizen reception, which will honor former Nansemond-Suffolk Academy head Doug Naismith.

The reception, from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Suffolk Center for Cultural Arts, is being co-hosted by the downtown and North Suffolk Rotary clubs.

“We would like as many people as possible to attend,” said Crystal Rivenbark, a Rotary Club member. “This is a great cause for the community.”

Tickets to the reception are $30, which goes into the downtown club’s general fund. In fiscal year 2009, the club gave more than $94,000 from the general fund to Suffolk charities, including the ForKids Suffolk House, the Suffolk Foundation, Geneive Shelter, YMCA, Boy Scouts, Red Cross, Nansemond-Suffolk Volunteer Rescue Squad, and scholarships to Suffolk Public Schools students.

The North Suffolk Rotary Club has designated its proceeds from the event to PolioPlus, a Rotary-founded charity that aims to eradicate polio in developing countries.

The event honors Doug Naismith as First Citizen. Aside from being the former head of Nansemond-Suffolk Academy, Naismith is active in such organizations as the Suffolk Center for Cultural Arts, Obici Healthcare Foundation, Suffolk Sister Cities, Suffolk Partnership for a Healthy Community, and more.

In 1956, the First Citizen award went to R.L. Woodward Jr. The annual award for service to the city was begun that year by the Cosmopolitan Club of Suffolk. When the club disbanded in the 1990s, the Suffolk Rotary Club stepped in to fill the gap. Past winners have included Chris Jones, Betsy Brothers, Curtis Milteer, Andy Damiani, Dana Dickens, Ross Boone, Whitney Saunders, Sue Woodward, Sam Glasscock and Mills Godwin.

Tickets for the event may be purchased at the door, or at the Suffolk Visitor Center, 321 N. Main St.; Nansemond-Suffolk Academy, 3373 Pruden Blvd.; and Farmers Bank Harbour View office, 6255 College Drive.