Nominations open for First Citizen

Published 1:19 pm Tuesday, January 28, 2014

The Suffolk and North Suffolk Rotary clubs now are accepting nominations for the 2014 First Citizen Award.

“If there’s someone anybody feels has done an outstanding job in the community and gives back to the community and would be a great person to nominate for First Citizen — go ahead and do that,” said Susan Blair, one of this year’s First Citizen co-chairs. “It’s a huge honor for a lot of people, and it’s a great way to express gratitude for the great people we have in the city of Suffolk.”

The award has been given each year, save for a brief hiatus, since 1956, when it was started by the Cosmopolitan Club. It ended in 1999 when the club disbanded but was taken up by the Rotary Club in 2003.

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Last year’s recipient was community leader and Suffolk Rotary Club member Dr. R. Leroy Howell Sr. Other prior recipients have included M. Caroline Martin, Sen. Fred Quayle, Dr. Douglas Naismith, Delegate Chris Jones, Betsy Brothers, Ross Boone, Whitney Saunders, Councilman Curtis Milteer, Sue Woodward, former Mayor Dana Dickens, business owner George Birdsong and many more.

Nominations are due by Feb. 19, and the nominating committee will announce the winner by Feb. 28. A reception honoring the recipient will be given April 17 at 6 p.m. at the Suffolk Center for Cultural Arts. Proceeds from the sale of tickets, $35 each, will go toward community and charitable projects.

Nomination forms can be obtained online at or by calling Susan Blair at 650-0667. Tickets to the event also can be obtained from Blair or any other Suffolk or North Suffolk Rotarian.