Patricia “Tricia” Shahan Thurston, center, commander of American Legion Post 24, was named the Rumford Citizen of the Year on Thursday night. Board of Selectmen Chairman Chris Brennick, right, made the presentation. At left is Barbara C. Arsenault, who nominated Thurston for the honor. Bruce Farrin/Rumford Falls Times

RUMFORD — Patricia “Tricia” Shahan Thurston is this year’s Rumford Citizen of the Year.

Thurston, currently serving as Commander of American Legion Post 24, was presented with a certificate and a town clock at the start of the Board of Selectmen’s meeting Thursday.

A large contingent from the Rumford post was in attendance to hear Thurston say, “I’m honored and very proud to be recognized as Rumford’s Citizen of the Year.”

She thanked members of the American Legion, the Legion Auxiliary and Sons of the American Legion for their support.

“I really believe in what we do at the Rumford American Legion for our veterans and community,” she said. “Sometimes we can do a lot and sometimes we do what we can. Either way, we give all we can in the moment,” she said.

Board Chairman Chris Brennick said the award was especially meaningful because this year is the 100th anniversary of the American Legion and Post 24 in Rumford.

Nominating the Maple Street resident was Barbara C. Arsenault, past president of American Legion Auxiliary Unit #24.

“In veterans’ circles across the state,” Arsenault said, “Rumford has been viewed in a very positive light, thanks to Tricia.”

Arsenault added Thurston has been a leader for events, including the Memorial Day parade, the female veterans luncheon and the Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans.

“Tricia has been a tireless organizer and chief cook of many suppers, used for outreach services for veterans, youth programs such as Boys and Girls State, and for building expenses,” Arsenault said.

She said Thurston has a quiet, friendly way about her that many people appreciate.

“She has dedicated her many years to working with children, who are the future of Rumford, as well as appreciating her fellow Rumford veterans who have served in the past,” Arsenault said.

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