When Anna Gardner was selected by a panel of judges as Satsuma Citizen of the Year 2014, she came highly qualified for the honor. She has lived in her adopted hometown almost from the time she married Casey 30 years ago, but, she said, it wasn't until about eight years ago that she became heavily involved in community service.
It was through the encouragement of her mother-in-law, Pricie Gardner, that Anna became interested in volunteering, first in Satsuma Community Development Organization, then the Satsuma Public Library Foundation and Satsuma Library Board. She added Satsuma Lions Club to her roster of activities when it was organized in 2012.
Among her activities with SCDO were helping to organize and staying involved in Satsuma's Arts and Crafts Show on the day of the Christmas parade since 2007. That includes placement of vendors, planning and outlining the program, contacting and arranging for individuals and groups to perform singing and dancing entertainment. She even makes the announcements during the event.
Also with SCDO, Gardner has been involved with the Annual Christmas Tree Lighting in Baldwin Square, serving as emcee to announce the program. And, in the past, helped with SCDO's sponsorship of the Satsuma Tour of Homes.
With the Satsuma Public Library Foundation, Gardner has served as vice president and president. A member for more than seven years, she has participated in the organization's annual fundraisers. She's also been on the board of directors of the Satsuma Library Board and helped with such programs as The Big Read in 2010.
When the Satsuma Lions Club was founded in 2012, Gardner saw joining as another opportunity to serve her community. She currently is the vice president and previously served as treasurer. She's participated in numerous fundraising events, including road blocks, fruit sales and SwampFest, which help fund local projects.
For the past two years, Gardner has been American Cancer Society Relay for Life team member and, for five years, was leadership donation level member.
The Satsuma Public Library Board nominated Gardner for Citizen of the Year 2014. In their recommendation, they give their reasons: "Anna's dedication is tireless," they wrote. "She is always eager to lend a helping hand, no matter how busy she may be. She juggles her home (she has two daughters), business (Regions Bank branch team leader) and volunteer life in a way that is admirable and inspirational."
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