The Roseburg First Citizens Banquet is always a wonderful reminder of how many people really care about making Roseburg a wonderful place to live.
It’s a place where neighbors help one another, volunteers seek solutions to problems and community leaders rally support for good causes.
The two people selected as Roseburg First Citizens for 2012 Thursday night are excellent examples of the kind, generous people who make Roseburg their home.
Passionate, positive and proactive are words that describe Cheryl Ramberg-Ford, who was named first female citizen. Those who nominated her say she’s difficult to say “no” to when she asks for your help on a fundraiser.
That might be because she asks for help for so many worthwhile causes, particularly those dealing with children, families and education.
Despite the time she devotes to numerous organizations, Ramberg-Ford told the audience of 600 at the 59th annual First Citizens Banquet that she’d told the sponsor, the Roseburg Area Chamber of Commerce, that she didn’t want to be selected for the award because so many other people work so hard.
She shouldn’t downplay her contributions. A longtime Roseburg resident and a 1962 graduate of Roseburg High School, she clearly loves her community and wants to do all she can to make it better.
The first male citizen must have been familiar to anyone in the room who’s ever owned an animal, whether on a farm or as a pet. Well-known retired veterinarian Don Bailey won this year’s honors.
After establishing Bailey Veterinary Clinic in a much smaller Roseburg in 1950, Bailey began a career that would introduce him to thousands of Douglas County residents and propel him to leadership in many local, state and national organizations, especially those associated with animals, youth and education.
For instance, he helped establish the College of Veterinary Medicine at Oregon State University in Corvallis. Though he knows the importance of the technical education provided by the college, he said he tells students, “Clients don’t care about your degree, they just want you to be there when they need you.”
Many in the audience could probably picture a time when Dr. Don, as he is often known, was there for them. His compassion and generosity are among the traits mentioned in his nomination.
Honoring individuals such as Ramberg-Ford and Bailey, as well as the others who have been recognized since 1954, is an important aspect of the chamber’s mission.
We hope it helps everyone realize that one person can make a difference.
We hope it inspires everyone to step up and volunteer for one or two more activities that will enrich our community.