Norwich Rotary cancels award ceremony for first time in decades

Norwich — For the first time since Norwich Rotary launched the Native Son/Daughter award in 1968, the presentation and banquet will be canceled.

Rotary President-elect Jim O'Shea announced Wednesday that the Norwich Rotary and Norwich Women's Club received only one nomination this year for the award that honors a native person who excelled in his or her career elsewhere. The nominee could not attend a ceremony in June this year, prompting the clubs to cancel the award for this year.

"We normally have at least two or three strong nominees each year," said Barry Shead, Norwich Rotary vice president and chairman of the 2012 Nominations Review Panel. "We'll work extra hard to get the word out for next year. There are certainly many (Norwich Free Academy) alumni and other past residents of Norwich that have moved out of the area and accomplished significant things. We need the community's help in identifying these people and attracting more nominees."

O'Shea said the clubs considered trying to schedule the event for later this summer, but it proved too difficult to arrange. He hopes to spread the word that nominations are needed for consideration for next year's award.

Nominees must have been born in Norwich or to Norwich parents and must have lived in Norwich most of their lives and/or attended school in Norwich. They also must agree to receive the award in person at a luncheon at the Holiday Inn in Norwich, typically held the third Wednesday in June.

Nomination forms for 2013 are available at The Bulletin business office and at WICH radio station. Forms are also available from O'Shea by email: j.oshea@sbcglobal.net, or from Pam Campbell at (860) 887-7271 and Joanne Fusaro at (860) 889-6784 from the Norwich Women's Club.

c.bessette@theday.com

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