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Citizens, organizations recognized at WF Christmas Dinner

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WAKE FOREST — The 72nd Annual Wake Forest Community Christmas Dinner was held Monday at The Forks Cafeteria on South Brooks Street to celebrate the town’s most influential citizens and organizations.

The program featured the announcements of the Peggy Allen Lifetime Achievement Award, the Citizens of the Year, and the Organization of the Year. James S. Warren, who earned the Citizen of the Year award in 2006, was selected as this year’s Peggy Allen Lifetime Achievement Award recipient. Eddie and Delores Riggins shared this year’s honor as Citizen of the Year, and the Tri-Area Ministry Food Pantry was named the Organization of the Year.

Since 1965, the council has annually presented the Citizen of the Year award to an individual or team demonstrating exemplary volunteer effort and the Organization of the Year award to a group that has contributed significantly to life in Wake Forest.

The Peggy Allen Lifetime Achievement Award was first presented in 2005 to Peggy Garren Allen for her lifetime of service to the Wake Forest Community and is named in her memory. The recipient of this award is an individual or team who has contributed at least 10 years of volunteer service to the Wake Forest community.

Nominations for the annual awards were due in October and they were reviewed by Wake Forest Community Council members. The Wake Forest Community Council is comprised of area civic, service, social, fraternal, religious and business organizations, as well as interested individuals and is dedicated to the communication of programs, events, and the needs of the community. The council’s mission is to better promote, improve and preserve the Wake Forest lifestyle.

Greg Harrington served as the dinner’s master of ceremonies, and The Rev. David Miller provided the invocation.

Cellist Tristen Johnson and teacher Tonya Suggs with the Wake Forest Community Youth Orchestra led a performance of several Christmas classics such as “Joy to the World” and “Silent Night.”

Wake Forest Mayor Vivian Jones gave the awards presentation, and after the final door prizes were handed out, Hallie Arrington Hearn led a Christmas sing-along for those in attendance to conclude the event.