KILMARNOCK—The Northern Neck Rotary Club recently named George E. “Sonny” Thomas as its 2018 Community Service Award recipient.
The award is given annually to an individual who club members feel best exemplifies the Rotary motto “Service Above Self,” reported president Brandon Frazier.
The official presentation of the Community Service Award will be made July 21 at the Northern Neck Rotary Club’s CAPINNÉ 2018 event at Indian Creek Yacht and Country Club.
Thomas describes himself as a “come-back-here.” He lives within 150 yards of the place he was born, said Frazier.
Having joined the Virginia Air National Guard while a senior at Lancaster High School, Thomas went on to join the Air Force upon graduation. He became a physical therapy tech serving in hospitals in Texas, Mississippi and Nevada. He also was cross-trained as an ambulance driver.
|CAPINNÉ, an annual upscale social event sponsored by the Northern Neck Rotary Club, will be held July 21 at Indian Creek Yacht and Country Club, 362 Club Drive, Kilmarnock. “Entrée Act” will stage and lead participants in a mystery dinner theater event. Tickets are $90. For reservations, call 435-4169.|
The doctors realized he had other talents and trained Thomas to perform other diagnostic tests, such as EKGs, to take advantage of his skills. He also worked at a civilian hospital in the evenings providing a variety of tasks.
Upon the end of his enlistment, Thomas returned to Mathews and began a career in retail, including men’s clothing, a variety store, hardware and real estate. He became the owner of Thomas’s Hardware in Lively. Thomas said all the businesses were dependent on customer need and service.
During this time, he joined a variety of community service organizations including Ruritan clubs, volunteer fire departments, Lions Club, Rotary, rescue squads, Habitat for Humanity, Mary Ball Museum and Library and Lancaster County Community Library. In all these community organizations he rose quickly to positions of leadership as president or member of governing boards.
In the mid 1990s Thomas was told that the Commissioner of the Revenue for Lancaster County was to retire and that the folks in the office did not wish to run for the job.
He was encouraged to run and he won the election. He became Commissioner by accident and remained, without further opposition, for 21 years, he said…