Doug Drown, described as a "silent pillar who gave the gift of time," has been named the 1997 Northeast Kingdom Chamber Citizen of the Year. The selection committee comprises representatives from local service organizations, municipalities and a past recipient.

Born in St. Johnsbury and a proud 1958 graduate of St. Johnsbury Academy, Drown started his work life at WTWN (now WSTJ and WNKV), working as a janitor in high school. Before he left the station, some 35 years later, Drown had worked his way to the general manager position of the growing station and had established himself as one of the most recognized "voices" in the region.

Five years ago, Drown started work at St. Johnsbury Academy in the development and alumni affairs office. He now serves as the director of the development/alumni effort. He has been extremely active in civic activities his entire career, serving as a member of the St. Johnsbury Rotary, a past president of Northern Counties Health Care, advertising director of the Caledonia County Fair Association, a member of the St. Johnsbury Recreation Department recreation committee, a board member of the Vermont Diabetes Association, and as a trustee of the Fairbanks Museum & amp; Planetarium and the Northeast Kingdom Chamber of Commerce.

Drown also serves "as the voice of Academy basketball," announcing the many academy home basketball contests. Drown has also worked tirelessly for St. Johnsbury Rotary, setting up Rotary Bingo, breaking down tables for its blood drawing, and recruiting referees for the annual Rotary basketball tournament. His friends and co-workers acknowledge that Drown works "behind the scenes," not wishing to draw attention to himself or his volunteer activities.

"Doug is one of the few people that everything he does is out of concern for others," said a co-worker and friend. "He loves his community. There is nothing he wouldn't do. I can't even tell you all the things he has done."

In sponsoring Drown for the award, one individual wrote, "Doug is one of those rare individuals who cheerfully does what needs to be done, working not for recognition, but for the satisfaction of making another's lifealittleeasier, another's load a little lighter, another's day a little brighter."

Many of his support letters noted his devotion to the South Congregational Church, as a member of the business committee, deacon, and participation in many of its projects.

"Love of community isn't something that is turned on and off," stated one support letter. "It is that rare combinationofobligation and gratitude that Doug personifies through his work on behalf of St. Johnsbury. It is an inner quality that has been his North Star throughouthisdistinguished careers."

Drown lives in St. Johnsburv with his wife, Kathy, and is the father of three children, Tammy Dargie, Tim, and Tom, and a devoted grandfather three grandchildren.

The dinner honoring Doug Drown as Citizen of the Year will be announced at a later time.

To reserve tickets, call the NEK Chamber at 748-3678.

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