AUBURN — Attorney Peter Garcia received the 2010 Citizen of the Year award from the Auburn Business Association on Thursday night.

He was acclaimed for his exceptional civic participation and his dedication to personal values.

The event took place at the lodge at Lost Valley where association members and many of Garcia’s friends and family gathered. It was the 37th annual presentation of the award.

Following several speakers who listed his many accomplishments, Garcia said, “I have to thank a larger group of friends than I will ever be able to count.”

John Orestis, a former mayor of Lewiston and a former partner with Garcia in the practice of law, said, “It wasn’t just a privilege to be Peter’s partner, it was an honor.” He said Garcia practiced law with precision and that he demonstrated by example that it is an honorable profession.

Lee Young, former mayor of Auburn and the 1981 recipient of the Citizen of the Year award, said Garcia has “woven the fabric of our communities.” She said Garcia possesses a special skill in finding talented people and encouraging them to step forward.

Garcia’s youngest son, Matthew, who lives in Maryland with his fiancée Monica, paid tribute to his father’s devotion to family.

Also congratulating their father were sons Adam, who lives in Lewiston with his wife Laura and their daughters Natalie and Katherine; and Joey, who lives with his wife Kassie in Fort Drum, N.Y.

Stephen P. Beale, a colleague with Garcia in the firm of Skelton, Taintor and Abbott, related a few humorous anecdotes about cases they shared.

Master of ceremonies Jim Ferrante listed Garcia’s numerous civic accomplishments.

Garcia is chairman of the Auburn Ethics Commission, co-chairman of the Citizens Commission on Lewiston-Auburn Cooperation and vice chairman of the board of the Lewiston-Auburn Economic Growth Council. He is past president of the Auburn Business Development Corp., a former member of the Auburn Comprehensive Planning Committee and former co-chairman of L/A Together.

Garcia’s distinguished career in law began as an associate attorney with the Brann and Isaacson firm in Lewiston from 1971 to 1974. He then became a partner of the Orestis and Garcia law firm, and since 1983 he has been a partner at Skelton, Taintor and Abbott in Auburn.

He has been assistant county attorney for Androscoggin County and is the former chairman of the Lewiston Board of Appeals.

He received his law degree in 1968 from Georgetown University, where he met his wife, Pat. They were married that year.

Garcia has been an enthusiastic supporter of the Big Brothers Big Sisters program for many years.

Speakers emphasized Garcia’s athleticism and his love of sailing. He is past president of the Gulf of Maine Ocean Racing Association, and he plays squash and tennis.

Music also plays an important part in his life. Garcia is a member of Timpanic, a steel drum band that performed at the award event with Garcia participating.

Auburn Mayor Richard Gleason presented a key to the city to Garcia. Michael Williams, Auburn Business Association president, presented the Citizen of the Year plaque.