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franklin county times

Heroes' honored Sela Ward named Citizen of the Year'

By Staff
HONOR ROLL The Meridian Star's "Unsung Heroes" for 2001 are, sitting from left, Eula Miller, Bea Reynolds, Beverly Trotter and Martha Janie Stennis. Standing are C.A. "Skeeter" Lang, Ray Hosley, Bruce Saterfiel, Marvin Weir, Tracy Waddell and Dick Reynolds. Bruce Martin, right, accepted the 2001 Citizen of Year award for actress Sela Ward. Photo by Marianne Todd/The Meridian Star
By Sheila Blackmon/The Meridian Star
Feb. 27, 2001
The Meridian Star's 2001 Citizen of the Year and 10 Unsung Heroes, featured in "Profile 2001: By the People," were honored at a reception Monday night.
Muted laughter filled the room as more than one head nodded.
Meridian native and award-winning actress Sela Ward was named the 2001 Citizen of the Year.
Barrett said Ward's involvement in the renovation of The Grand Opera House of Mississippi and Hope for Children, a shelter for abused and neglected children to be established on the former Masonic Home property, puts her in the same league with The Meridian Star's previous Citizens of the Year.
Like G.V. "Sonny" Montgomery, Mac Barnes, Drs. Richard and William Riley and Meridian Mayor John Robert Smith, Ward is to be commended for contributions that make "home" a better place to be.
Ward was not able to attend the ceremony. Her close friend, Meridian insurance executive Bruce Martin, accepted the award for her and spoke of her modesty and her deep love for the community.
Barrett compared this year's 10 Unsung Heroes to Carl Stotz, who in 1938 "made a promise" to a small group in his Williamsport, Penn., community. A year later, he formed the Little League of America making children's lives better and improving the quality of life in their communities.
This year's Unsung Heroes are Ray Hosley, C.A. "Skeeter" Lang, Eula Miller, Bea and Dick Reynolds, Marvin Weir, Bruce Saterfiel, Martha Janie Stennis, Beverly Trotter and Tracy Waddell.
As Barrett handed out their awards, he read excerpts from the touching letters he and the editorial staff received. The letters which can be read in today's Profile edition celebrate our heroes perhaps better than anything else can.
Today's edition features the words and work of over 500 people.
Sheila Blackmon is a staff writer for The Meridian Star. E-mail her at sblackmon@themeridianstar.com.