The Civitan Club recently announced its outstanding student awards, given each year to one student from Plant City High School and one from Durant High.
This year's honorees are David Walden, 18, a senior at Durant High School, and Brittany Butler, 18, a senior at Plant City High.
Walden comes from a family that has been involved in the Civitan Club for decades. His mother, Terry Walden, was a Civinette from 1978 to 1981, and his grandmother, Barbara Porter, was a Plant City High School Civinette advisor from 1982 to 1984. Grandfather Vernon Porter is a longtime member of the local Civitan Club.
The young Walden serves as an ambassador for the Strawberry Growers Association and holds several FFA posts, including being president of the four-county District 9. He's captain of Durant's ice hockey team and a member of the National Honor Society with a 4.5 grade-point average. He's also a public-speaking champion.
Butler has won many Florida swimming championships and is captain of the girl's varsity swim team at Plant City High School. Ranked fourth in her class with a weighted 6.14 GPA, Butler is a member of the National Honor Society and the 1270 Club, reserved for people with exceptional SAT scores. As a dual-enrollment student, Butler attends classes at Hillsborough Community College and has been offered scholarships to Florida Atlantic University and Florida State University.
"These two young people represent our best and highest hopes for the future," Civitan Club President Pat Pogue said last month at the group's annual lunch honoring the outstanding students and the Citizen of the Year.
"We are so proud of them and their outstanding accomplishments."
The Civitan Club has selected outstanding students for the past 29 years. Students apply through their college and career counselors and are chosen because of their grade-point-averages, extra-curricular activities and community volunteer efforts.
The group honored Donald Patrick Humphrey as its 2012 Citizen of the year.
Growing up in Plant City, Humphrey attended Plant City High School, going on to the University of South Florida where he graduated in 1968, with a bachelor's degree in zoology. In 1972, he received his doctorate in optometry from the Southern College of Optometry in Memphis. The Hillsborough Society of Optometrists has twice named him its Optometrist of the Year, in 1983 and 1991, and he is active in several trade groups. Humphrey is dedicated to giving glasses to people who can't afford them and is active with the Plant City Lions Club, the Greater Plant City Chamber of Commerce and Plant City First United Methodist Church.
"Wow! I was waiting for our Vice Mayor Bill Dodson's name to be called," Humphrey said. "I really came to honor him."
The Citizen of the Year award is sponsored by the Kiwanis Club of Plant City with the support of other local Plant City clubs, including: the Greater Plant City Chamber of Commerce, American Business Women's Association, the Rotary Club, Daybreak Rotary, Optimist Club, Greater Federation of Women's Clubs, Lion's Club, Junior Women's Club and the Civitan Club.