Rotarians seek nominations for Warwick Citizen of the Year

Photo by Rosemarie Bastanza

Warwick Rotarians are seeking nominations for Warwick’s Citizen of the Year. Committee members, include, left to right Co-chairs Stan Martin and Leo Kaytes, Sr., holding the Rotary plaque listing recent winners;  Doug Stage with the Jaycee plaque honoring winners from 1968-1999; Mechelle Casciotta,  Town Supervisor and Event Master of Ceremonies Michael Sweeton. The Warwick Citizens of the Year plaques are displayed at Town Hall.

Deadline to nominate is Sept. 4;
Award to be presented Oct. 21


WARWICK – Who should be Warwick’s next Citizen of the Year? You might have the answer.

Local Rotarians are seeking nominations for the coveted award. A letter outlining the accomplishments and reasons for the nomination can be mailed to the Warwick Town Supervisor, 132 Kings Highway, Warwick NY 10990, or e-mailed to Deadline for nominations is Friday, Sept. 4.

Members of the Warwick Valley Rotary Club, a community service organization of local business men and women who are sponsoring the annual event, are excluded from being nominated.

Stan Martin and Leo Kaytes, Sr., both former Warwick Rotary presidents, are co-chairing the event. Eight years ago, they were instrumental in restarting the “Warwick Citizen of the Year” program which was inaugurated in 1968 by the now defunct Warwick Jaycees.

“There are so many local residents who deserve recognition for making this a quality place to live,” said Martin. “These volunteers have demonstrated a commitment to community service over an extended period of time.”

Kaytes encouraged community input on candidates for 2015-2016 Warwick Citizen of the Year. He pointed out that there have been so many qualified nominations in recent years that two additional persons will again be recognized with “Outstanding Community Service Awards.”

The husband and wife team of Glenn P. and Susan Dickes were named 2014-2015 Citizens of the Year for their efforts to feed and clothe the needy and their role in Warwick’s obtaining a modern library.  Chosen last year for “Outstanding Community Service Awards” recognition were Jeff Ahearn, unpaid president of the Brian Ahearn Children’s Fund, and Robert E. “Bob” Sanford, Sr., who has devoted more than a half-century of volunteer service to his community and nation.

Two former Warwick Jaycees and current Warwick Rotarians — Town Supervisor Michael Sweeton and Attorney Doug Stage — are also on the committee along with Frank Truatt, Mechelle Casciotta, Leo R.  Kaytes, Cal Hargis, Marie Pennings, John Buckley, John McGloin, and John Bollenbach.

The awards dinner is scheduled for Wednesday, Oct. 21, at the Landmark Inn.


Warwick’s Citizens of Year

WARWICK – Two plaques honoring Warwick’s past Citizens of the Year hang in the Warwick Town Hall.

Lawrence Stage was the first recipient of the honor in 1968 when the Jaycees inaugurated the program. The Warwick Jaycees, a local chapter in what had previously been known as the Junior Chamber of Commerce, continued the awards dinner until 1999, when the club went inactive because of decreasing membership.

Individuals were honored in all but two of the 30 years. In 1986 the organization Warwick Against the Radioactive Dump was saluted for its successful battle against New Jersey placing radioactive waste near the Warwick-Vernon border. The following year the husband and wife team of George and Mary Goodman was honored.

Another couple also made the select list. Dr. Harry Sayre was chosen Citizen of the Year in 1972 and his wife, Pete, was honored in 1990.

Entertainers won back-to-back awards when Tony and Emmy award winner Richard Kiley was selected Citizen of the Year in 1994 and radio and television personality Dick Wells captured the award the following year. Betty Jane Wright, long-time owner and publisher of the Warwick Valley Dispatch, was honored in 1996. There were no recipients in 1997 and 1998. Auto dealer Leo Kaytes was chosen in 1999 for his decades of community service.

The Warwick Valley Rotary Club reactivated the Citizen of the Year program in 2008. Clayton Eurich, who helped almost one hundred Boy Scouts become Eagle Scouts, won that year. The following year Frank Cassanite, Jr., head of the Warwick Ambulance Corps, was chosen. Honored during the past five years were the Warwick Chamber of Commerce; former Greenwood Lake mayor and County Legislator Ben Winstanley; local businessman and military veteran John Woloszczak, Jr., Warwick historian, author and NYU Professor Dr. Richard Hull and the husband and wife team of Glenn P. and Susan Dickes.

The year-by-year honorees as Warwick Citizens of the Year were:

1968 – Lawrence Stage
1969 – Clifton Brown
1970 – Charles Rowe
1971 – Daniel Maxwell
1972 – Harry Sayre
1973 – George Hansen
1974 – Calvin Gilbert
1975 – Mildred Stewart
1976 – John Cox
1977 – Patrick McConnell
1978 – Fred Batz
1979 – Gearlin Logan
1980 – Joseph DeBold
1981 – Elmer C. Fry
1982 – Dorothy Sanford
1983 – Roy Barker
1984 – Bruce Sherman
1985 – George Relyea
1986 – Warwick Against Radioactive Dump
1987 – George & Mary Goodman
1988 – John S. Hicks
1989 – John Mattison
1990 – Pete Sayre
1991 – Lon Tytell
1992 – Elizabeth Van Leer
1993 – Mike Myrow
1994 – Richard Kiley
1995 – Dick Wells
1996 – Betty Jane Wright
1999 – Leo Kaytes
2008 ­– Clayton Eurich
2009 – Frank Cassanite, Jr.
2010 – Warwick Chamber of Commerce
2011 – Ben Winstanley
2012 – John Woloszczak, Jr.
2013 – Dr. Richard Hull
2014 – Glenn P. and Susan Dickes

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