The Riverbank Citizen of the Year Committee has decided to postpone, again, its celebration of volunteerism in and around the town.
The committee reported it was a difficult decision but necessary to delay the celebration and announcement until fall. Traditionally, the award announcement for a COY, Citizen of the Year, is made early in the year following the nominee's service. This will be the 56th year of the awards banquet, when it is held in the fall.
Last year, the dinner was held in March, and in years prior, in February or January. Having the nomination period near or during the holiday season has proven increasingly difficult, they say, so the delays have been increasing.
Then, this year, there was the obstacle of the remodeling of the city’s Community Center, where the event is normally held, forcing organizers to delay the event into the end of April, while work was being completed.
A late start on the remodel contributed to the postponement this year, with the ensuing confusion resulting in difficulties with obtaining candidates for the honor, according to committee members, along with a lag in ticket sales.
And city officials must be breathing a sigh of relief, with less pressure to complete the remodel by this week.
So those having saved the date of April 27 for the dinner are now available for other engagements. Tickets already purchased may be returned to the committee member from whom they were obtained.
Committee members have decided to meet next on Thursday, Sept. 12, as the event is reorganized for this fall.
Officials note that the dinner usually recognizes the Citizen of the Year, Youth of the Year and Business of the Year. The business honor is awarded by the Riverbank Area Chamber of Commerce, which hasn’t yet announced its plans for the award.
The Riverbank Youth of the Year for 2018 will instead be announced and awarded at the student’s senior awards ceremony at his or her school campus.
Since its founding in 1962, the then ‘Man of the Year’ Award has seen 63 recipients. Along the way, there have been several years where two awards have been made, and also, women were also recognized, prompting the title to become Man of the Year/Citizen of the Year, or MOY/COY.
Several years ago, the committee voted to simply define itself as Citizen of the Year, or COY. The most recent double award was made was in 2016, when Lana Clayton and Elias Cordova received the award. Since then, doubles have been prohibited with the committee seeking to single out one person for the citizen honor.
The Citizen of the Year Committee is made up of former awardees, who remain active and still reside in the area.