ST. GEORGE – Washington County Sheriff Cory Pulsipher was honored as Citizen of the Year 2014 Wednesday by the Lester Keate Post 90 of the American Legion at the Legion building, 245 N. 200 West, in St. George. The Legion also named Terry Dunne, advisory board chairman of the Utah Department of Veterans and Military Affairs, as its Legionnaire of the Year.
The nominations for the awards, given out once a year, are carefully considered by the executive committee based on who the committee feels is the most deserving through a number of criteria, Post Adjutant Ski Ingram said.
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Citizen of the Year
Pulsipher was recognized for his “unselfish service to the American Legion,” Ingram said, and to “veterans everywhere and the City of St. George.”
Ingram read a 3-page citation written and supplied by Undersheriff Bart Bailey and Pulsipher’s wife, Cathy Pulsipher, speaking to the sheriff’s accomplishments in his life and the service he has provided throughout the community.
“Cory is a strong believer in volunteerism,” Ingram said. “Bart Bailey, Cory’s undersheriff, told me that he actively volunteers for more things than he can keep track of and has the energy to participate in.”
Cory Pulsipher was acknowledged for his active involvement in the Children’s Justice Center, where he’s currently practicing for the “Dancing with Your Community Stars” fundraiser; Relay for Life; Boy Scouts; Special Olympics, the “Polar Plunge” and “Law Enforcement Torch Run;” “Shop with a Cop,” the Republican Party, as a local and state delegate as well as a candidate; Search and Rescue; and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
“Cory is a doer,” Ingram read from the script. “He and his family are willing to help anyone. He has moved more families than I can count. He also has a special concern for the handicapped and the youth.”
Cory Pulsipher, a seasoned 28-year veteran of the Sheriff’s Office, has been with the Washington County Sheriff’s Office since January 1987. He was elected sheriff in January 2011, was reelected and started his second term in January 2015.
“Sometimes it’s kind of embarrassing to actually be recognized and receive awards and things,” Cory Pulsipher said of receiving the honor, “but I’m very grateful because American Legion does a lot for our community. They give back so much. These guys have dedicated their lives to service to their country, and so, just the opportunity to associate and hang out with them, to me, is a blessing truly, and to receive an honor from them – they’re the true heroes with what they’ve given in their service to the military and to the country.”
Legionnaire of the Year
Dunne was recognized for his “outstanding service and leadership in Lester Keate Post 90.”
After retiring from a 40-year career with Warner Bros. in Burbank, California, Dunne moved to St. George in 2002.
Dunne, a member of the American Legion for over 12 years, served in the California National Guard from 1964 through 1970, attaining the rank of staff sergeant.
Dunne and his unit were deployed to the Los Angeles Watts Riots in August 1965, where they were one of the first National Guard units on scene, Ingram said. Dunne was also deployed in 1969 to serve in Vietnam.
Following his 2002 move to St. George, Dunne quickly became involved with Southern Utah veterans issues.
Now we eat
After the award was presented, attendees enjoyed a home-cooked Italian meal and participated in judging the best cooked dish.
“Tonight, we are doing an Italian cook-off,” Auxiliary President Ellen Nathan said. “So we have eight dishes that people have brought in tonight and we have judges coming in from the Olive Garden to judge it, and then, once we’re done with the judging, then everybody gets to eat it.”
St. George News Reporter Leanna Bergeron contributed the videocast to this report.
Click on photo to enlarge it, then use your left-right arrow keys to cycle through the gallery.
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