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FEATURE: Batavia Citizens of the Year

By Addison Brown and Bella Punzio

Dave and Marge Brown have worked to make a difference in Batavia and want to benefit the town in any way they can. They volunteer all over the town to try and improve the community. Doing so has led to them being awarded  Citizen of the Year.

Dave and Marge Brown have worked hard in order to get all of their achievements. They have helped around the community so much and have encouraged many other people to help around the community. Although they may have had challenges in the past they have overcome them and it has helped them become the people they are today.

They are part of a club called Rotary and Rotary has been around since 1948. Rotary helps out with the food bank, teaching young kids, and helps provide water to people in need. They hold meetings once a week to talk about what’s happening around the community and how they could make it better.

Being Citizen of the Year is achieved by working hard, volunteering, and helping out around the town for something yourself and the community can be benefited from. It’s an award for being recognized for those who are going above and beyond for the organization, or just in general to help out. Batavia is a smaller town that offers a plethora of different opportunities to help out around the community which led to the events of Dave and Marge becoming Citizen of the Year. The reason they won Citizen of the Year is because they have volunteered to help out with a lot of things all over the town. For example, Dave helped build and come up with ideas for the brand new flag monument in downtown Batavia. He was downtown working with some of the other designers and they were looking at which tiles would look best on the inside part of the monument. They were comparing a smaller whitish tile to a larger cream color tile. They were holding them up in certain places and they spent over 30 minutes just comparing the tiles to try and figure out which would look the best.

There was a ceremony held for the Citizens of the Year on April 25, 2023. At the ceremony the Browns were given a chance to give one speech each. They mostly talked about Batavia as a community and how grateful, thankful, and happy they were to be given the award. 

“One thing I loved about the speeches was that it wasn’t about them,” said Katie, their daughter. “It was about Batavia and the community and the impact that everyone is making to make it a great place to live.”

They have turned something that was meant to be about themselves into something about the town which is part of the reason they were given the award. There were not that many people that were also given the chance to say a speech. If they were, the speech was about other things happening in Batavia and not about themselves.

Marge and Dave had both been influenced by multiple people in their lifetime and they wouldn’t be where they are without all the help and support from friends, family, the community, and mainly each other. They have both been very humble after given this award and contribute to each other and everyone 

“Everybody that I have come across in my life, has given me something, and I think that as you grow, you don’t really realize this at the time, but a teacher one time might have said some encouraging words to you, and it made you feel good,” Marge said. “Maybe if it was somebody you worked with, a family member, a community member, I think that who I am today is a compilation of wonderful people that I am lucky to have been surrounded with my whole life. I think everybody has had an effect on me.” 

Katie Brown has watched her parents succeed in what they are doing. She always saw them working hard not only for themselves but for everyone who surrounds them. Anytime her parents would ask for help, she always helped out if she was given a chance or just in general. She sees the hard work and dedication that her parents have put in, but also the struggles and the challenges that they have gone through. She has always been proud of what they’re doing and how they are building great habits like helping out around the community and encouraging others to help out. Katie was overwhelmed with emotion the night of the ceremony, and talked a little bit how she felt. 

“I just felt really proud, proud to be their daughter, proud to be related right, but also proud to live in that community as well,” Katie said. 

Volunteering is very important to Dave and Marge and they do it as much as they can. They volunteer with the rotary most days. 

“I can’t say no,” Marge said.

They try to help out and volunteer if there is an opportunity and if anyone asks for help they want to try and help them the best they can.

“They are always willing to help others when they need it or ask for it, it’s something they have always done and who they are,” said Brad Brown, Dave’s son.

It is very in character for Dave and Marge for them to be helping around the community and helping people in need. They have always done it and will most likely continue to do it for as long as they can.

“One thing my dad has always said, he’s always believed in right is right, wrong is wrong, do what is right,” said Layla Brown, Dave’s daughter. 

The Browns have always tried to do what they have thought was right no matter what. For them, always trying to help out and improve the community for the people of Batavia was what is right. 

“We do what we do because we want to do it,” Dave said. Dave and Marge volunteer as much as they can to help out the community. They will always take up on any volunteering opportunity they are given. Helping out is their way of showing pride. They do what they want and they do it well.

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