Ro­tary names Shorter Cit­i­zen of Year

Record Observer - - Front Page -

CENTREVILLE — The Centreville Ro­tary Club pre­sented its Cit­i­zen of the Year Award to Melvin J. Shorter Jr.

This pre­em­i­nent award is pre­sented an­nu­ally by the Ro­tary to a de­serv­ing lo­cal res­i­dent. Nom­i­na­tions for can­di­dates for the award are made both by Ro­tar­i­ans and by Queen Anne’s County cit­i­zens and is an op­por­tu­nity to show­case the un­selfish and ded­i­cated work, of­ten un­her­alded as well, of those in the com­mu­nity who ex­em­plify the Ro­tary’s “ser­vice above self” motto. This in­cludes a nom­i­nee’s per­sonal and em­ploy­ment his­tory, vol­un­teer ac­tiv­i­ties in the com­mu­nity and demon­strated lead­er­ship and com­mu­nity ser­vice to­ward en­hanc­ing the com­mu­nity.

For 2016, Shorter and the other fi­nal­ists for the award — Bob­bie Bell, Carol Wil­liamson and Robert Wil­lis — were rec­og­nized at a reg­u­lar break­fast meet­ing of the Centreville Ro­tary where the se­lec­tion com­mit­tee’s de­ci­sion was an­nounced fol­low­ing brief back­ground sum­maries of each can­di­date.

Shorter, an 80-year-old, life-long res­i­dent of Queen Anne’s County said he was “shocked, stunned and deeply hon­ored” and hum­bled to re­ceive this recog­ni­tion from the Ro­tar y Club, some­thing he said he could never imag­ine hap­pen­ing.

Shorter, a Pond­town res­i­dent, was nom­i­nated for his hard work, lead­er­ship and un­selfish de­vo­tion to his family, com­mu­nity, church, lodge and var­i­ous civic as­so­ci­a­tions. Shorter is well known within the com­mu­nity and his in­volve­ment in Eastern Shore ac­tiv­i­ties are nu­mer­ous.

A grad­u­ate of Ken­nard High School in Centreville, he has been ac­tive in the Ken­nard Alumni As­so­ci­a­tion since 1984 and its

ef­forts in restor­ing the Ken­nard School and re­open­ing it as the Ken­nard Cul­tural and Her­itage Cen­ter.

Shorter is a United States Army vet­eran, a mem­ber of the Queen Anne’s County NAACP, the Ch­e­sa­peake Col­lege Multi-Cul­tural Ad­vi­sory Com­mit­tee for 15 years and the Kent and Queen Anne’s hospi­tal aux­il­iary for 18 years. In ad­di­tion, Shorter has been a board mem­ber at Prov­i­dent Fed­eral Credit Union in Dover for 25 years and its trea­surer for 15 years.

Shorter is a leader in his church, hav­ing been a mem­ber of Mt. Ver­non United Methodist Church since 1942, where he has served as a trustee, fi­nance com­mit­tee chair­man, usher and choir mem­ber. His church has been sup­port­ive in the lo­cal com­mu­nity, in­ter­act­ing with three other churches within the county and neigh­bor­ing coun­ties. With­out much recog­ni­tion, Shorter and his church help the home­less and fire vic­tims, pro­vide schol­ar­ships and con­duct hospi­tal vis­its.

Shorter also is a trustee and fi­nance com­mit­tee chair­man at Burrisville United Methodist Church and works part­time

at the Bennie Smith Fu­neral Home in Chestertown, help­ing loved ones with their grief and sor­row.

A re­tired me­chanic from Kraft Gen­eral Foods, where he worked for 33 years, Shorter was called a su­per­star be­cause when things went wrong, the call went out for him and his team to ad­dress the prob­lem. He is lo­cally renowned for his cater­ing and fish fry­ing skills, which he shares with the com­mu­nity at four an­nual sum­mer events. He also par­tic­i­pates in Queen Anne’s County’s an­nual Har­vest Break­fast at the 4-H Park.

Shorter is the Deputy Grand Mas­ter for the 7th Dis­trict of the Prince Hall Ma­sons in the five-county Up­per Shore area, a post that he has held for seven years. For 34 years he has been a mem­ber and Past Mas­ter of the Thomas H. Kiah Lodge and 32nd de­gree ma­son in the James A. Mingo Con­sis­tory of the Prince Hall Ma­sons.

“The Ro­tary tries and finds folks who are do­ing won­der­ful things but prob­a­bly no­body knows about, who just go about their daily lives and do good things and try and make the com­mu­nity a bet­ter place for ev­ery­body,” said Centreville Ro­tary’s Chair­man Rich Graves, a Cit­i­zen of the Year com­mit­tee mem­ber.


The Centreville Ro­tary Club pre­sented its Cit­i­zen of the Year award to Melvin Shorter Jr. for his work and ser­vice in the com­mu­nity.

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