On Saturday, November 18, the West Chatham Chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) hosted its annual Humanitarian Award Banquet in Siler City. The 2017 theme was “United We Stand, Divided We Fall” and honored the outstanding humanitarian service efforts of three local award recipients.

Chatham County Sheriff Mike Roberson was the recipient of the 2017 Humanitarian Service Award and was named Citizen of the Year during the ceremony. Ann Soto-Garcia received the Youth Humanitarian Service Award and the Chatham County Fair Association was recognized for the organization’s humanitarian efforts.

“Dad, I was honored to watch you receive this award. I’m so proud of you,” expressed Caroline Roberson, Sheriff Roberson’s daughter, following the award ceremony. She went on to explain that although her father has only two biological children, other youth in the community look up to him and consider him a role model in their lives. The same can be said for adults.

“Sheriff Mike Roberson always says Chatham County is the best county, with the best residents and the best employees in the state,” says Lieutenant Sara Pack of the Sheriff’s Office. “This award is the community’s way of recognizing HIM for being an integral part of what makes us the best. His servant leadership and lifelong contribution to the residents of Chatham County make him a role model to everyone who knows him. I cannot think of anyone more deserving of recognition as Citizen of the Year.”

Sheriff Roberson says he will cherish the Humanitarian Service Award for Citizen of the Year forever because it represents his lifelong goal of helping others and serving Chatham County.

“Being named Citizen of the Year is a truly humbling experience,” says Sheriff Mike Roberson. “I hope the community recognizes that this honor was achieved thanks to the support and encouragement of many, many others. One cannot do this alone—and I am blessed to have my beautiful family, friends, neighbors and colleagues here with me as I receive this award. It doesn’t get much better than this.”