Rotary Clubs do good turn

Published 9:12 pm Friday, April 19, 2013

The First Citizen award given by the Suffolk and North Suffolk Rotary Clubs is the highest award that can be given to a resident of the city.

Each year, it is awarded to someone who has excelled at community service, making extraordinary contributions to many areas of life in Suffolk.

This year’s honoree was Dr. R. Leroy Howell, a dentist who has turned in decades of devoted service to his church, alma mater, the U.S. Army, the City Council, the Boy Scouts, United Church Homes and Services, the Suffolk Rotary Club, the Chuckatuck Ruritan Club and many more entities.

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He joins many decades of distinguished men and women who collectively have made immeasurable contributions to the city that would not have been the same without any one of them.

The Cosmopolitan Club began awarding the First Citizen in 1956 and gave the award every year until 1998, when the club disbanded. The Suffolk Rotary Club took up the torch in 2003.

In 2010, the North Suffolk Rotary Club joined its counterpart in giving the award. The clubs themselves are a wonderful testament to what it means to serve.

Dr. Howell said in his speech Thursday night that his Boy Scout participation taught him to “do a good turn daily.” He and many others in Suffolk has taken that message to heart, making the city richer by the day.

We applaud Howell and all the former First Citizens out there for their service to the community, and we thank the Rotary Clubs for joining together in this and many other endeavors. The city wouldn’t be the same without you.