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Make your nominations for Citizen of the Year

October 4, 2012 12:10 am

PUT DOWN those partisan placards. Set aside those polarized feelings of anger about what's wrong with the system. Resolve to do something purely positive.

Nominate someone today to be The Free Lance-Star's Citizen of the Year.

My guess is you already know a person or group who would fit the bill--someone who has provided outstanding service to others and to the Fredericksburg area community.

But you need to hurry. The deadline for entries is 5 p.m. Oct. 17. That's when we'll need to receive your letter of nomination, along with other documents or letters that lay out the nominee's accomplishments.

Think of this as an opportunity to recognize and celebrate someone or some group with a track record of humanitarian service--good works that have improved the lives of others. It could be a quiet player who consistently gives without recognition. It could be someone who has done something really big or for a long time. It could be someone who does many different things.

With your help, the Citizen of the Year will be The Free Lance-Star's nominee for the 2013 Virginian of the Year--an annual designation the Virginia Press Association has been making for almost a half-century. And we in the Fredericksburg area have a track record of success!

Last year our nominee, philanthropist Doris Buffet, won the statewide honor for her shining example of generosity. But don't be intimidated. You don't have to give away $120 million-and-counting to worthy recipients to qualify for this award. Everyday folks who have done extraordinary things for their community are more than welcome.

For many years, the Virginian of the Year was bestowed mostly on celebrities. I remember calling actress Shirley MacLaine with news of her designation. She accepted gratefully, but then had to cancel her trip east in the late going.

The ranks of winners are populated with former governors, university presidents, a NASCAR driver, musicians from Bruce Hornsby to the Statler Brothers, and authors such as William Styron and Patricia Cornwell.

But lately, the contest has taken a turn toward the grassroots, which is a good thing. Member newspapers have been encouraged to work with their readers to come up with worthy nominees, to scour their communities for folks who make a difference.

So give us a hand. Keep in mind that nominees must have been born in Virginia or must be a resident of Virginia at the time of nomination. Send nominations to The Free Lance-Star, ATTN: Marketing, Citizen of the Year, 616 Amelia St., Fredericksburg, VA 22401.

Questions? Contact marketing director Stacy Rounds at 540/374-5000, ext. 5574, or at

There's a lot that's going right in our community. In an age of cynicism, let's tip our hats to the good folks who make a difference.

Ed Jones: 540/374-5401

Copyright 2014 The Free Lance-Star Publishing Company.