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Braxton named Citizen of the Year

Greenville Jaycees President Kendall Leverette, assisted by City Councilwoman Susan Murphy named Thomas Frank (Tom) Braxton, longtime Greenville resident and local town historian, as its 2003 Citizen of the Year and recipient of the John D. Murphy Memorial Award.

&uot;It was a very close vote,&uot; Leverette told the crowd assembled at the Main Street’s Summer Supper Thursday night. &uot;We had so many worthy nominees this year – it was very difficult to pick a winner. I believe we had more nominees this year than ever before.&uot;

But in the end, Braxton got the majority vote and will have his name added to the long list of worthy community advocates who have won the in the past.

&uot;I would like to thank God for giving me the opportunity to serve my community,&uot; Braxton said. &uot;There isn’t a better place to live than Greenville. I also would like to recognize the other nominees – Ricky McLaney, Steve Norman, Joan Reynolds, Mayor Dexter McLendon, Malloy Chandler, Jim Dunklin, Ann Daughtry and Ralph Stacy. It is such an honor to be considered among these wonderful people who do so much for our city.&uot;

Braxton said the honor was even greater being in John Murphy’s memory.

&uot;Having worked with Murphy, I know what productivity is all about,&uot; he said. &uot;John was a great man, and I’ve always admired him.&uot;

Braxton also extended a heartfelt thanks to his mother, Beatrice Braxton.

&uot;I can’t thank my mother enough for her support,&uot; Braxton said. &uot;She is truly the wind beneath my wings.

Leverette said Braxton was very deserving of the award.

&uot;Tom is a true asset to Greenville,&uot; he said. &uot;He is currently the outgoing President of both the Greenville Fine Arts League and Greenville Main Street.

He is always volunteering his time for the betterment of both of these organizations. He also has worked diligently with the Greenville Area Arts Council – from selling ads and working backstage to the actual restoration of the Ritz theatre.

&uot;Tom is one of the leading historians of Greenville,&uot; he said. &uot;He has researched, studied, and written numerous articles on our county’s history. With this knowledge, he has been a key leader in the placing of the plaques we see on our area landmarks and historical

homes.&uot;

The Citizen of the Year/John D. Murphy Award is determined by submitted nominations from the community. Those nominations are then voted on by the Jaycees members and past Citizen of the Year winners.