Last year the Soldotna Lions Club created a special Citizen of the Year award to recognize an outstanding individual in the community. This year the Lions wanted to recognize a man and a woman with their special award so they doubled the new tradition.
According to Soldotna Lions President Tim Musgrove, qualifications the club looks for in selecting the Citizen of the Year is the type of person that gets involved whenever they are called on to lend a helping hand, "I ask our club members to keep their eyes out for these type of folks year round, they are the kind of person that you never hear about them turning away anyone when they are asked to get involved or make a contribution," said Musgrove.
This year the club selected Dena Cunningham as the first woman to ever receive the award, "It was an extreme surprise. I had only anticipated having dinner with the Lions Club and visiting. It was a huge honor. We enjoy giving back to the community we live in," said Cunningham, who is a very active volunteer in the schools, Boys & Girls Club, and Safe Kids, as well as supplying the Blood Bank with muffins and juice for donors.
For the male Citizen of the Year the Lions went to 26 year Soldotna resident Fred Hammon who has worked at the Y Chevron service station for 25 years. One of Fred's fondest memories over the last quarter century was when his boss Les Anderson caught the world record King Salmon, "He brought it into the station, and it probably would have been over 100 pounds if hadn't played with it for half a day before he weighed it," laughed Hammon, who was selected last year by the Soldotna Chamber of Commerce as Businessman of the Year. "You just do what you can do. I feel that supporting the community is supporting the people that support you," said Citizen of the Year Hammon.
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