May 9, 2013 9:53 am ET
40th Annual Optimist Club’s Citizen of the Year Banquet to Honor Dundalk’s Finest.
In my role of a community blogger, I am (all too) often tasked with writing on stories that are not on the positive side of life. However, I am thankful that this is not one of those stories. Instead, today I get to write about two outstanding citizens that are being recognized by their community for their achievements.
On Tuesday, May 21, the Optimist Club of Dundalk will hold its 40th Annual Awards Banquet, where it will recognize Joseph Cristy as the Citizen of the Year and Danielle Alderson as the Humanitarian of the Year. I am honored to be able to write this blog letting everyone know about these two very special people.
Many people in the sporting community know our Citizen of the Year, Joe Cristy, as a member of the Greater Dundalk Sports Hall of Fame. Mr. Cristy has been a long-time coach for many of the area’s sports programs, and his volunteer work as coach has helped to garner numerous scholarships for our local youth.
Aside from his sports background, Mr. Cristy also has an interesting sidebar as a practitioner of law enforcement … sort of. You see, Mr. Cristy once witnessed an armed robber leaving a local liquor store. He gave chase and got close enough to the suspect’s vehicle to get the license plate number, which he gave to the police—ultimately leading to the arrest of the perpetrator.
That, to me, is the sign of an outstanding citizen. Rather than sit back and be a spectator, Mr. Cristy got involved (at his own peril) and helped make our community that much safer.
Mr. Cristy is a lifelong resident, having been born in Dundalk in 1948. He is married to Dorothy L. Boone Cristy and has one son named Joseph William.
Meanwhile, our Humanitarian of the Year, Danielle Alderson, has been serving the Dundalk community for 22 years in a variety of ways. Many people may know her from her work at Chick-Fil-A, where she went from an employee to the owner of her own franchise. However, Ms. Alderson probably is better known for her fund raising work on behalf of Dundalk’s youth
For years, Ms. Alderson has provided funding for the 25 S. Truett Cathy Scholarship program. Also, she has raised more than $20,000 for the Sparrows Point High School Athletic Department. Those donations helped the school to purchase cheerleader uniforms, mats for the gym, and a new scoreboard.
In addition to assisting Sparrows Point High, Ms. Alderson has raised and provided funding for other schools, including Patapsco High and Kenwood High.
I would love to tell you more about the assistance that Ms. Alderson has given to numerous other programs, but the list is too long to mention in one blog post. Let’s just say that she has earned the sincere gratitude of a lot of grateful residents.
It is my sincere honor and pleasure to congratulate Citizen of the Year Joe Cristy and Humanitarian of the Year Danielle Alderson.
As mentioned, the two officially will be honored at the 40thAnnual Awards Banquet on May 21. The banquet will take place at the U.A.W. Hall located at 1010 Oldham Street starting at 6:30 p.m. A donation of $35 per person is requested, and tickets may be purchased by calling Bob Crandell at 410-288-6795 or Shirley Panuska at 410-285-3899.
Let’s all show our appreciation for these two shining examples of citizenry. I hope to see you at the banquet.