First Citizen nominations sought

Published 9:50 pm Friday, July 22, 2016

Time is running out for nominations for the 2016 Suffolk First Citizen award.

The Suffolk and North Suffolk Rotary Clubs are accepting nominations for the honor through Friday.

The award, given each year since 1956, except for a hiatus from 1999-2002, goes 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.


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The award was started by the Cosmopolitan Club but ended in 1999 when the club disbanded. The Suffolk Rotary Club took up the mantle in 2003, and the North Suffolk Rotary Club joined in the recognition several years ago. Initially, members of the club were disqualified from being nominated, but that was changed in recent years.

Last year’s recipient was real estate agent Billy Chorey Sr. Other prior recipients have included the late Robert W. “Bobby” Harrell Jr., Dr. R. Leroy Howell, M. Caroline Martin; Sen. Fred Quayle; 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; businessman George Birdsong, longtime General Assembly member Sam Glasscock; dentist Dr. George Barnett; former Mayor Andy Damiani; and former Gov. Mills E. Godwin Jr.

The clubs strive to receive nominations from the community at large to help choose the award recipient. Nominees must be residents of Suffolk.

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. Packets must be postmarked by midnight July 29.

The reception honoring the recipient will be held Sept. 29.