Frank and Doris Flora were jointly presented the Chamber’s Citizen of the Year Award during the event held at the Kilmarlic Golf Club in Lower Currituck.
Chamber President Josh Bass, in honoring the Floras, noted the Citizen of the Year award traditionally is presented to an individual for lifetime service. In the case of the Floras, however, the Chamber couldn’t think of one of them and their contributions to the community without thinking of both of them.
Frank and Doris Flora’s commitment to their friends and neighbors goes all the way back to the 1960s, when they became active in what was then the recently established Moyock Fire Department. Frank, 81, became a firefighter and Doris, 79, served as a rescue squad captain. Doris also became one of the first women in the upper end of Currituck to serve in a firefighter role.
Additionally, the couple, who’ve been married 61 years, have long portrayed Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus at children events and served as volunteers for the Meals on Wheels program. They also are regular attendees of Currituck government meetings. Doris Flora said she was surprised by the Chamber’s honor.
“I mean, I love doing what I do, but I never thought that other people thought that much of us to do this,” she said. Frank Flora said he knows riding on an ambulance isn’t something you’re supposed to enjoy, but he did because it allowed him a chance to help others. “That’s what I enjoyed, is being able to help the people all of these years,” he said.
Wild Horse Adventure Tours received the Corporate Community Service award for being ecologically conscious, employee focused and for donating to a variety of non-profit organizations, the Chamber said. Kasey Powell, a tour guide for the off-road tour business, said she was speechless when she heard Wild Horse Adventure had won the Chamber award. “My heart dropped and I definitely was more anxious than I was excited,” Powell said.
Though based in Elizabeth City, the Greater Albemarle Area Red Cross has an average response time of less than an hour in Currituck when disasters like house fires happen. The regional nonprofit has one paid full-time staffer and 45 volunteers. Carolyn Self, the Red Cross’ volunteer leader, called the award “an honor for all of our volunteers who work around the clock.” “When they’re called on, they’re there to do the job. This is their award,” she said.
Broadway or Bust, which received one of the Chamber President Awards, gives young people a chance to express themselves through the performing arts. It also provides musical theater programs for children. Dream Builders, which also received a Chamber President Award, works to provide premium home construction within a customer’s budget.