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Lawsons honored by city police
2014 Outstanding Citizens
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The Martinsville Police Department named Ralph and Kathy Lawson its 2014 Outstanding Citizens of the Year on Tuesday during a meeting of Martinsville City Council. Above, the Lawsons stand with Interim Police Chief Eddie Cassady (left) and Capt. Marshall Thomas. (Bulletin photo by Mike Wray)

Wednesday, April 9, 2014


The Martinsville Police Department has named Ralph and Kathy Lawson its 2014 Outstanding Citizens of the Year.

Interim Police Chief Eddie Cassady presented the annual award to the Martinsville couple during Tuesday night’s Martinsville City Council meeting.

The award recognizes citizens’ outstanding contributions to the community. Police department employees submit nominations to a selection committee that reviews nominations and then suggests a winner to the police chief.

Nominees must show good moral character, a positive attitude toward law enforcement and support for the police department’s efforts to improve its service to the city, according to Cassady.

“There’s a lot of stuff that they do for our community,” he said. “That’s why our officers and I feel they deserve this award.”

The couple thanked the police department for the award. Mayor Kim Adkins, in turn, thanked the couple for their devotion to the community. She said the council joins the police in recognizing them.

The Lawsons’ award is “well-earned,” Adkins said.

Ralph Lawson is executive director of the regional chapter of the American Red Cross, which serves Martinsville, Henry County, Patrick County, Danville and Pittsylvania County.

His community service includes being a board member for the Patrick Henry Community College Foundation, the Martinsville Henry County Coalition for Health and Wellness and Crimestoppers. He serves on the area Non-Profit Leaders organization and the Martinsville Transportation Safety Commission, volunteers for Martinsville-Henry County Chamber of Commerce’s Tour de Scholar Charity bike ride and along with being a board member for the Martinsville Exchange Club, he is district president for the Colonial District serving Exchange Clubs throughout Virginia.

Ralph Lawson is a former board member and past chairman for the Patrick County Developmental Center in Stuart, former vice chairman for the Sports Authority Board, and is secretary of the board and a member of the public relations committee for Martinsville Uptown.

He also is a past board member for the Henry County Baptist Association, a past treasurer for Christmas Cheer and past board member and chairman of Martinsville Henry County Christmas Parade Association.

Cassady said a large amount of Ralph Lawson’s service has come through the Jaycees organization. He is a past president and life member of the Patrick County Jaycees, a life member of the Virginia Jaycees, a JCI senator and a U.S. ambassador for Jaycees International. He also has served as president of the Virginia Jaycees and NVP for the U.S. Junior Chamber of Commerce.

A former city council member, Kathy Lawson was Martinsville’s mayor from 2008 to 2010. She is a personal lines manager for local insurance firm Burch Hodges Stone and chairman of the Martinsville Electoral Board.

She is a former volunteer for the United Way and Chamber of Commerce, a former coordinator and volunteer for the community bicycle safety program, former chairman and current treasurer for the West Piedmont Planning District Commission and a volunteer for the Delvin Hairston Memorial Foundation.

Also, she is the current president of Christmas Cheer, second vice president of the Martinsville-Henry County Christmas Parade Association, a volunteer for the Red Cross and a former member and treasurer of the Exchange Club.

Like her husband, Cassady said, Kathy Lawson is involved with the Jaycees. She is the former president and trustee for the Virginia Jaycee Foundation, a past president and life member of the Martinsville Jaycees and a life member of the Virginia Jaycees and a JCI senator.

The Lawsons are members of Fuller Memorial Baptist Church but now attend McCabe Memorial Baptist Church, Cassady said.


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