Mayor LaPorte named Citizen of the Year

By Bob Robinson

Star Staff

   Mayor Sam J. LaPorte is the 2001 Citizen of the Year. His father, the late Joe LaPorte Jr., received the award in 1988.
   The award was presented at noon today at a luncheon of the Elizabethton/Carter County Chamber of Commerce membership at Sycamore Shoals State Park.
   Richard Tester, last year's recipient, made the presentation, citing LaPorte's "exceptional dedication and unselfish service to his family and the community. Because of his leadership and involvement, Elizabethton and Carter County has become a better place in which to live and work."
   The Citizen of the Year award is presented annually to an individual who demonstrates unselfish service and is a positive role model for others in the community, according to Joe Alexander, chairman of the chamber selection committee.
   LaPorte, senior partner in the law firm of LaPorte and Norris, is a member of the Carter County and Tennessee Bar Associations.
   Members of the chamber, who made the nominations, gave the following examples of LaPorte's leadership and community involvement:
   * Director and chairman of the Boys and Girls Club of Elizabethton;
   * Instrumental in the acquisition, fund-raising and development of the new Boys and Girls Club facility on Hudson Avenue;
   * Recipient of the Boys and Girls Club National Medallion for exemplary service to the organization;
   * Board member and past president of the Elizabethton Soccer Association;
   * Coached soccer, basketball and baseball youth teams;
   * Arranged for new soccer field off Hudson Drive;
   * Active member of the Chamber of Commerce since 1988;
   * Active fundraiser with the United Way;
   * Director on the Emergency Child Care Shelter;
   * Past board member of the Holston Home for Children;
   * Trustee at First United Methodist Church;
   * Mayor and member of Elizabethton City Council since 1997;
   * Person of solid integrity for our City;
   * Helped improve the financial situation of City Government; and,
   * Past president of the Carter County Chapter of the American Cancer Society.
   A 1967 graduate of Elizabethton High School, LaPorte received a B.S. Degree in Mechanical Engineering and a Doctorate of Jurisprudence Degree, both from the University of Tennessee, in 1972 and 1975, respectively.
   The son of Katherine and the late Joe LaPorte Jr., he and his wife, Marlo, have a daughter, Katie, and son, Drew.