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A "million dollar" night for Wentworth

Family and friends celebrate selection of Alton's Citizen of the Year

May 05, 2009
ALTON — After decades of giving to others in need, long-time Alton resident Dorothye Wentworth found herself a recipient for a change, as family and friends gathered at the Main Street Café on April 30 to celebrate her selection as the Alton Business Association's (ABA) first Citizen of the Year.

Named as the first-ever recipient of the award by a committee of local business owners in recognition of her past service to the community as a church elder and school board member, and her continuing efforts to assist needy residents as Director of Alton Community Services, Wentworth (who was visibly moved by the turnout and by the words of those who spoke) compared her thoughts on the event to the "million dollar feeling" she recalled having whenever heads would turn in her family's direction as they entered a store or restaurant.

Presenting Wentworth with a certificate in recognition of her impact on the community on behalf of his fellow representatives from Belknap County's Fifth District, Selectman and state Rep. Peter Bolster said he admired her willingness to stand her ground and speak her mind on issues that mattered to her.

Wentworth's son, Reuben (President of the ABA and owner of Alton Home and Lumber), attributed his strong sense of values to the manner in which she raised him.

"I'm not a perfect man, by any means, but a lot of what I am, I owe to my mother," he said.

Acknowledging that nearly all of the faces he saw gathered around the restaurant were just as deserving of the title Citizen of the Year as his mother, Reuben Wentworth voiced his hope that the program would continue well into the future.

Dorothye said she had chosen to become involved in the community after wondering for a period of time after moving to New Hampshire what she could do to make a difference.

"I think I've reached my potential," she remarked, prompting a burst of laughter from the audience.

Citing the three great virtues of Hope, Faith, and Charity named in the New Testament as her inspiration, she added, quoting the Apostle Paul, that "the greatest of these is charity."

"The Alton Business Association takes pride in creating community spirit, supporting local businesses and the residents of the Alton community," the organization stated in a press release issued Tuesday morning. "The ABA looks forward to sponsoring Citizen of the Year 2010, and continuing this prestigious award."

Brendan Berube can be reached at 569-3126 or bberube@salmonpress.com

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