Wanted: Due recognition

Published 9:09 pm Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Each year, Suffolk residents have a chance to help recognize a resident of the city who has truly made a difference, and the time has come to ask them to do so again by submitting nominations for the 2014 Suffolk First Citizen Award.

The award has a long history in Suffolk, having been instituted by the Cosmopolitan Club in 1956. It was given annually until that club disbanded in 1999, and then it was picked up by the Rotary Club of Suffolk in 2003. A few years ago, in an effort to expand the reach of the award, that organization asked the North Suffolk Rotary Club to join the effort.

Winners have included leaders in all segments of the Suffolk community, including the arts, government, business, education, church and philanthropy. The list reads like a Who’s Who of the people who make Suffolk special.

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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.

Winners do not have to be members of the Rotary Club, nor do their names necessarily have to be well known. More important than who they are is what they have done to make Suffolk a better place to live.

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 www.suffolkrotary.org 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.

Know someone special in Suffolk? This is a great way to make sure they get the recognition they deserve.