Club seeks nominees for award


NAUGATUCK — They come from all walks of life. Some are bankers, lawyers and doctors. Others are hairdressers, secretaries and waiters.

All of the people who are named Naugatuck’s citizen of the year, however, have one thing in common: They all love to help others in the community.

“Every year I say there is no way we’re going to get someone as good as this year, but every year I am amazed,” said Nancy Buckmiller, who accepts nominations for the citizen of the year award.

The award has been given annually for 14 years by the Naugatuck Exchange Club, of which Buckmiller is a board member. It is awarded as part of the community champions awards, which are given annually to the educator, police officer, firefighter and citizen of the year.

The firefighters and police officers are generally nominated by their department heads, and the educators are typically nominated by administrators and/or the Naugatuck Board of Education.

The citizen of the year award, however, is where everyone has a say.

Nominations, which must include a detailed biography, are now being accepted. They may be submitted by email to Buckmiller at All nominations are due Jan. 23. The only criteria is that the nominee be a resident.

“Basically, we’re looking for someone who donates time and volunteers, especially if it helps kids,” Buckmiller said.

The awards will be given March 10 during the community champions banquet. The only person who has been announced as a recipient at this point is Second Assistant Fire Chief Paul Russell. The police and education departments have not announced their selections.

Last year’s citizen of the year recipient was Wendy Murphy, president of the Naugatuck Historical Society, who was honored for her efforts to improve the society and create more programs, especially for children.

“We know there are a lot of people out there who are deserving, so we encourage people to tell us about them,” Buckmiller said.