— by Susan Rose
Thomas C. (Tom) Church Jr. was awarded the 2017 Citizen of the Year Award through the Awahili District, Occoneechee Council, of the Boy Scouts of America Thursday night at the Henderson Country Club. The award is named after George Rose Watkins Sr. Dinner was served and three testimonials followed.
Rev. Donald Lowery, rector of The Church of the Holy Innocents, told about Mr. Church’s dedication and faithful leadership.
Mr. Church has been very active in The Church of the Holy Innocents and in the Henderson-Vance community. He now serves as chair of the Henderson-Vance County Economic Development Board.
John Akerman, scout executive of the Occoneechee Council, said Mr. Church has created a legacy for saying “yes” to all aspects of scouting.
Cliff Rogers, local businessman and past scout council president, reiterated about Church’s service in the U.S. Air Force, to the church, to the local schools, to the hospital and to the Rotary Club. Rogers presented the award.
Church thanked the council and all his scout friends.
Church moved to Henderson in 1970. He has been involved with scouting for many years, beginning as an assistant leader for his son’s Webelos Den. Other contributions to scouting include: district chair of Awahili District; member of the Occoneechee Council executive board for nearly 40 years; vice president of administration of the council; and chairman of the capital development committee that oversaw the reconstruction and remodeling of Camp Durant and Camp Campbell.
Church presently serves on the audit committee. He received the District Award of Merit in 1981 and the Silver Beaver award in 2005.
The Occoneechee Council now has 13,000 youth and 6,000 volunteers.