Three get humanitarian awards

Published 12:00 am Friday, June 10, 2011

Salisbury — The Salisbury-Rowan Human Relations Council recently named the 2011 recipients of the Elizabeth Duncan Koontz Humanitarian Award. The purpose of the award is to recognize a person(s) from the Salisbury-Rowan community who exemplifies the ideals of Elizabeth “Libby” Duncan Koontz and who has made an important contribution to improving human relations in the areas of education, employment, housing, industry, business, civic, church and/or community endeavors. The 2011 recipients are:
Roy Leazer Sr. — While commander of American Legion Post 107, Leazer dealt with uplifting the community by enhancing the educational skills of youth and families by sponsoring a Community Learning Center. The program consisted of mentoring, teaching leadership, life skills and financial planning to student groups, church groups and Boy Scouts. Leazer engaged the aid of the members of his post to help provide back-to-school supplies and clothing to students in need. He conducted leadership workshops for the Rowan County Veterans Council. Leazer has been recognized at the Salisbury, VA Hospital for his 15,000 hours of volunteer service to veterans at the Medical Center, as well as in the community.
Dorris D. Wright — In the 22 years she has lived here, she contributed much to the community through leadership and service. Wright served on the Salisbury Planning Board. During her tenure, the Fulton Heights Neighborhood became an historic district. Wright worked tirelessly with its members to clean up Oakdale Cemetery and to get sidewalks on Horah Street so that residents could walk in their neighborhood. Wright currently serves as a judge for the Rowan County Board of Elections for West Ward 3. She is a member of the Planning Board of Adjustments, the Safe Neighborhoods Action Group and is a member of the Historic Preservation Master Plan Advisory Board. She is a former member of the Crime Stoppers Committee. She has also served as chairwoman of the board of directors for the Salisbury-Rowan Community Action Agency.
Sandra Reitz — Reitz has served on several local boards and task forces, many of which are directed toward problems with children and adolescents. She has been chairwoman for the Community Based Alternative Task Force and the Interagency Council for Developmentally Delayed Children and Adults. She has been a board member of Rowan County Youth Services Bureau since 2001, where she served as secretary, vice president and president. She was a former district chairwoman for the N.C. Social Services Association. As a member of Altrusa International of Salisbury (Altrusa is a community service organization that espouses volunteerism, service and fights for literacy), she helped distribute food to an average of 900 families on a quarterly basis.
The keynote speaker for the event was Dr. Henry Johnson. Johnson is a graduate of Livingstone College with 30 years of classroom experience. From 2005-2007, he served as the assistant secretary of the U.S. Office of Education.