Derry/Londonderry Chamber names citizen- and business-of-the-year awardsBy CHRIS GAROFOLO
Union Leader Correspondent
September 24. 2017 1:12AM
DERRY - The executive director of the local Boys & Girls Club and a Derry-based soup kitchen will receive the Greater Derry Londonderry Chamber of Commerce's citizen and business of the year awards.
The chamber announced Thursday that Art McLean, director of the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Derry, will be presented with the 2017 Citizen of the Year award at the organization's annual dinner on Oct. 19 at Birchwood Vineyards in Derry. The chamber will honor Sonshine Soup Kitchen as its Business of the Year.
Chamber members selected McLean for his instrumental role in the success of the club since 1974 and his passion for working with children. He also sits on many other boards in the community, including the Derry Veterans Assistance Fund, the Viviana Leon Memorial Foundation and the Derry Rotary Club, and previously served as chairman on the Town Council.
The chamber also recognized the soup kitchen and its volunteers for providing free nourishing meals to individuals and families in need since 1989.
The kitchen recently moved into its new location on Crystal Ave after more than 20 years in the First Baptist Church, offering the nonprofit a larger, centralized location. In 2016, the kitchen averaged 53 meals daily and have served roughly 13,000 since opening its doors 28 years ago.
"This amazing honor is a super miracle," said Linda German, chairwoman of the soup kitchen's board of directors. "Our motto is, 'Believe it. Miracles happen every day.'"