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LUNENBURG – One of the biggest individual awards handed out each year by a local civic organization is the Lunenburg County Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the Year Award. This award is given to an individual who makes a positive impact on the county and community in Lunenburg.
This year, the award was given to Tony Matthews.
“Lots of school aged kids and young adults look up to Tony Matthews as a role model and a mentor.” These were the words read by Chamber Treasurer Bernice Thompson during the presentation. Tony is a lifelong Lunenburg resident and a Central High School graduate who went on to serve in the United States Navy from 1991-1995, including during Operation Desert Storm.
He is a long time member of the Kenbridge Fire Department where he has served as a captain and is a member of Perseverance Christian Church.
Tony is known throughout the community for his involvement in many volunteer activities and organizations, but may be most well known in that role for his tireless efforts to help grow the Lunenburg Girls Softball League into a tremendous organization that has served thousands of children. He has not only been the commissioner and a driving force in all of the growth and improvements made at the location, but he also coaches and manages teams as well. Tony has also coached baseball and helped with the Longwood University Club Softball team.
In addition to all of these things, he operates his own business, Matthew’s Lawn Care in Lunenburg. While he is a hard working business owner in the county, he also helps out many people, organizations and groups behind the scenes with donations of time and his own equipment and money.
Tony and his wife Beth already had four children between them when he also became the legal guardian of his sister’s four children following the tragic loss of their mother and father to cancer.
Tony stated, “This is truly a surprise and I didn’t have anything prepared to say.”
He continued, “I am really humbled by this and all of my life I have always tried to give back and have found that giving back is where you get things from.”
Tony advised, “If you are always seeking and go out searching you will find a lot of paths and walls where you don’t get what you want, but if you give first it will come to you bigger than you can ever give back.”
Awards such as this can sometimes be presented for any number of reasons ranging from a person being a great volunteer, having helped people in the community or for just being a great individual. This year, the winner covers all of those things and more.