Rotary clubs seek First Citizen nominees

Published 10:50 pm Saturday, February 18, 2012

The Suffolk and North Suffolk Rotary Clubs are now accepting nominations for Suffolk’s 2012 First Citizen award.

The award is given to an outstanding individual who best exemplifies the spirit of citizenship and who has shown significant leadership through his or her time, talents, and efforts in order to make Suffolk a better place to live.

“There are amazing leaders in the Suffolk community,” states First Citizen Committee Chair Crystal Rivenbark. “Many are our unsung heroes and the First Citizen Award gives us a way to honor them.”

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The award was started by the Cosmopolitan Club in 1956, but ended in 1999 when the club disbanded. In 2003, the Rotary Club took over the award. Initially, club members were ineligible to receive the award, but that was changed in recent years.

Last year’s recipient was community leader, Suffolk Rotary Club member and former Sen. Fred Quayle. Other prior recipients have included Dr. Doug Naismith, Delegate Chris Jones, Betsy Brothers, who was active in renovating Suffolk High School as the Suffolk Center for Cultural Arts, community activist W. Ross Boone, attorney Whitney Saunders, longtime City Councilman Curtis Milteer, historian Sue Woodward, former Mayor E. Dana Dickens, business owner George Birdsong, longtime General Assembly member Sam Glasscock, dentist Dr. George Barnett, former Mayor Andy Damiani, and former Gov. Mills E. Godwin Jr.

Nominations must be postmarked by Thursday, March 1. Nominees must be a resident of the city of Suffolk. The reception honoring the recipient will be Thursday, April 19, at 6 p.m. at the Suffolk Center for Cultural Arts. Tickets are $30 each and sponsorships are available. To purchase tickets, contact any Suffolk or North Suffolk Rotarian or call Jackie Cherry at 923-0003 or Phil Ford at 238-3856. Profits from the event will be donated to charitable organizations.

Nomination forms can be found on the Suffolk Rotary Club website at  Attach letters of endorsement to the application. When complete, mail to Suffolk Rotary Club, c/o First Citizen, P.O. Box 1972, Suffolk, VA 23439-1972. The clubs strive to receive nominations from the community at large to help choose the award recipient.