Chamber names McLaurin Citizen of the Year

Staff report

ROCKING HAM — The Richmond County Chamber of Commerce surprised Sen. Gene McLaurin today by naming him the organization’s Citizen of the Year.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com Sen. Gene McLaurin, left, is announced Monday at the Rockingham Rotary Club's weekly lunch meeting as the Richmond County Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the Year. Making the announcement is Emily Tucker, chamber president, and Dr. John Stevenson, chairman of the selection committee.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com
Sen. Gene McLaurin, left, is announced Monday at the Rockingham Rotary Club’s weekly lunch meeting as the Richmond County Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the Year. Making the announcement is Emily Tucker, chamber president, and Dr. John Stevenson, chairman of the selection committee.

The announcement was made towards the end of the Rockingham Rotary Club’s regular weekly lunch meeting at FirstHealth Richmond Memorial Hospital in Rockingham.

It started as a normal Monday at Rotary as Dr. Dale McInnis, Rotary president, began with the normal announcements. The big announcement came when McInnis introduced his guest Dr. John Stevenson, who is the chairman of the Selection Committee for the Richmond County Chamber of Commerce. Stevenson made the announcement to Rotary that state senator and former Rockingham mayor had been selected. 

McLaurin is certainly a familiar name to Richmond County and is very active in business, civic and public affairs. A Rotarian and past club president, McLaurin initially thought he might be asked to be president-elect.

“This is very unexpected and, frankly, very undeserved,” McLaurin said, “because anything that I”ve been able to do in life’s been with people like all of you. I’m very grateful and I’m honor.”

Stevenson questioned McLaurin’s assessment. He said there was “no question” McLaurin was a deserving recipient of the award.

The Citizen of the Year award is presented annually by the chamber and is recognized as the county’s highest honor. The recipient is chosen based on factors regarding their contribution to the community either during the year, or over the course of their lives. The award and banquet have become a tradition in Richmond County that goes back more than 30 years.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com Sen. Gene McLaurin walks through a standing applause on his way to accepting the Citizen of the Year award from the Richmond County Chamber of Commerce.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com
Sen. Gene McLaurin walks through a standing applause on his way to accepting the Citizen of the Year award from the Richmond County Chamber of Commerce.

The chamber’s selection committee chaired by Stevenson selected the recipient in a secret ballot, and the prestigious community service award will be presented at the Chamber’s annual meeting scheduled for Jan. 29, 2015 at the Cole Auditorium in Hamlet. The event is open to the public. Advance tickets are on sale now at the chamber or online for $35 per person.

Sponsorships are also available. This year’s event will begin with arrival and seating of guests at 6 p.m. followed by a business meeting at 6:30 p.m. in the auditorium honoring our recipient and conclude with a celebration in the banquet rooms at 7:30 p.m.

Filed in: Business, Featured News, Latest Headlines, News

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