Citizens of the Year; Interclub honors Dwayne Haddock, Barbara Robertson | SierraSun.com
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Citizens of the Year; Interclub honors Dwayne Haddock, Barbara Robertson

SHERRY MAYS

Two Truckee residents, who have served community youth for almost a half century combined, were recognized this month for their contributions.

Barbara Robertson and Dwayne Haddock are co-recipients of the 1997 Truckee Interclub’s “Citizen of the Year Award.”

“Sometimes I don’t realize people even know what I’m doing,” Robertson said. “I’m completely overwhelmed.”

Haddock said he was awarded because “someone was telling tall tales.”

“I never do the things I do for publicity,” he said. “I have always enjoyed being part of the community and helping others.”

Haddock, who was nominated by Dan O’Gorman from the Truckee Optimist Club, isn’t new to the award’s circle, winning “Optimist of the Year” in 1996 and 1997 and “International Optimist of the Year” in 1990.

O’Gorman wrote in his nomination, “Dwayne is constantly giving to his church and his community. He asks for nothing in return. His hard work motivates others.

“Though he is somewhat embarrassed by awards, our club can think of no one person more deserving.”

Haddock has been instrumental in helping to raise more than $80,000 for community youth activities since retiring from Tahoe Forest Hospital in 1995.

“This would not have been possible without Dwayne’s efforts,” O’Gorman wrote. “He (Haddock) is the backbone of our organization.”

Brenda LeBlanc, who nominated Barbara Robertson as part of the Soroptimist club, also highlighted a small portion of Robertson’s contributions to the area’s children.

Some of Robertson’s contributions include:

— creating a language and cultural awareness training camp for parents and teachers.

— initiating the La Raza II club, a bilingual social organization created to increase intercultural understanding and empathy amongst students.

— going into homes of new Latino families in the community, to help guide them into their new neighborhoods.

“Without her dedication, 90 percent of those (Robertson) taught and tutored would not graduate from high school,” LeBlanc wrote. “There are no gangs or racial tensions at TTHS as a direct result of her influence.”

Robertson said she is lucky to be doing what she does for the community.

“I get to see progress,” she said. “To see students that at one time were not able to attend school and are now graduating is the most rewarding thing I can think of.”

She boasts a 93 percent graduation rate for bilingual students, compared with the statewide average of 45 percent.

Robertson, who has been teaching at TTHS for more than 11 years, moved from Santa Rosa with her two children 14 years ago. She worked at Truckee Elementary and Sierra Mountain Middle schools before being recruited by the high school.

“There is such a broad range of students that I get to see,” she said. “I’m lucky to be able to work in the district and with these great students.”

Haddock said he is fortunate to be able to live in Truckee. In 1947, Haddock was in the service and on his way to the the coast when he passed through Truckee on a train.

“It was a bright, sunny day and there were deer all over the mountainsides,” he said. “That’s when I fell in love with Truckee.”

In 1965, he and wife Bertha moved to Truckee and he landed a job as an engineer at Tahoe Forest Hospital.

He has been with the Optimist Club for 26 years because he said “kids make up our world. If we give them opportunities early in life, they will be better adults.”

This year Haddock also received the “Volunteer of the Year” award from the North Lake Tahoe Resort Association.

“I’ve been a volunteer for a long time and now my walls are covered with plaques and a clock,” he said. “I’m proud of what I have done, but still it’s not for the awards.”

Robertson remembered Haddock from the hospital and said about her co-winner, “I’m in good company. Dwayne is a great man.”

There were three other nominees for the Interclub’s award: Ron Hemig of the Sunrise Rotary Club, Suzanne Prouty of the Truckee-Donner American Association of University Women and Kathleen Eagan of the Noon Rotary Club.

Hemig was nominated by Bob Lamberg, who cited Hemig’s many hours spent on multiple committees and in board positions, including major contributions to the Rotary duck races, the CARE effort in informing the community about PC-2 and lowering Truckee-Donner Public Utility District rates by 11 percent.

Prouty was nominated by Janet Mann for her concurrent participation in many local activities involving community women, children and families. Prouty is a member of the Tahoe-Truckee Unified School District Board of Trustees and a director for Tahoe Forest Hospital’s TGIF program, which acts as a community outreach center for low-income families.

Eagan, nominated by Dennis LeBlanc, has devoted innumerable hours to the Town of Truckee and especially the Truckee River as part of the Truckee River Habitat Restoration Group. LeBlanc noted her involvement in the Sagehen Field Station as an opportunity to share local research with area students. She was Truckee’s first mayor and an integral part of the town’s incorporation.

The Interclub, a six-member group of service organizations in Truckee, helps organize the clubs’ planned activities to avoid duplication of efforts or to help during each club’s activities if necessary.

Sierra Sun E-mail: sun@tahoe.com

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