The City of Chillicothe presented a very special award at its annual Christmas Recognition event held last week at the Fast Lanes Entertainment Center. Selected as the city’s first ever Citizen of the Year was Lesley Patek, who has directed the Livingston County Humane Society program since 1991,or a total 23 years. Invited as the director of the Animal Control division of the city as a special guest, Mrs. Patek was unaware of any type of award and was caught completely off guard. When introduced as the City’s first Citizen of the Year award winner she received a standing ovation from the more than 180 city employees and their families that were present for the event. Mrs. Patek was presented with a plaque that contained a special Key to the City and the inscription reading ‘Citizen of The Year” presented to Lesley Patek by Mayor Chuck Haney on behalf of the City Council and City of Chillicothe. Earlier this year Mrs. Patek had received the Chillicothe Elks Award as the Elks Lodge 656 Citizen of the Year. Administrator Ike Holland and city officials decided it should double up on the special recognition due to the loyal work and dedication of Mrs. Patek during the 23 years she has served the city. In remarks taken from the presentation ceremony at the Elks, Mayor Chuck Haney stated, “Whether it’s organizing a nationwide transport of 40 dogs to a Gentle Giants Pet rescue group or getting a mouse out of a classroom, we are proud and thankful for what she does for this community and the county.” It was stated that Mrs. Patek many times had used her own money to buy dog or cat food and works hard to drum up donations from the generous community to help support the Animal Control Shelter that is partially funded by the city.