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South Valley Journal

Riverton City starts new program to recognize outstanding resident efforts

Jul 22, 2019 03:08PM ● By Justin Adams

David K. Martin (holding certificate) receives award for Riverton Outstanding Citizen with his family (Photo courtesy Casey Saxton)

By Stephanie Yrungaray | [email protected]

Riverton City is shining the spotlight on spectacular residents as part of a new monthly recognition program called the Riverton Outstanding Citizen Award. 

“One of the city goals is to actively inform and engage residents,” said Casey Saxton, director of communications and public information officer for Riverton City. “One way we felt could engage residents is to learn about all of the good the residents are up to. We feel like the city is in a good position to recognize people who do great things.”  

Residents are nominated online by a community member and then reviewed by city committee members and the mayor. In April, David K. Martin was given the award, and in May, Lisa Carter was recognized as that month’s outstanding citizen. 

The first recipient, Martin, is a stay-at-home father by day and an actor, performer and director by night. He was honored for his work as the founder of the BeatALS Benefit Organization which he established in 2016 to raise money and provide education about ALS (Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) often referred to as Lou Gehrig’s disease. 

After his friend Chris Clark was diagnosed in March 2016, Martin planned a Beatles-themed concert in his honor. 

“We raised $10,000,” said Martin. “I thought this is something I can do and enjoy doing.” 

Martin said Clark is the inspiration behind the events, but as they’ve done more concerts, the people in the ALS community have made it easy to continue. 

“We’ve worked with different families, and the work is contagious,” Martin said. “Once you realize the caliber of people and caregivers, you know these are people worth spending time with. That’s why we’ve continued this work.”  

The BeatALS Benefit Organization has done five concerts over the past three years and raised more than $30,000. All of the money goes towards ALS research and advocacy through donation to the ALS Association Rocky Mountain Chapter. 

Martin said he was flattered to receive the award and thinks it is a worthwhile effort for the city. 

“I feel like there are so many people doing good that goes unnoticed,” said Martin. “When you can have a positive example in the community, it gives people something to be inspired by and emulate as well.” 

Mayor Trent Staggs agrees. 

“I think it always good recognize your residents, especially those that significantly contribute to the community,” Staggs said. “[The award] fosters a lot of good will and creates residents that are much more engaged in the community.” 

Through the city’s website, residents are encouraged to nominate individuals who contribute to Riverton through, “community leadership, community organization involvement, heroic action, humanitarian efforts, service, volunteerism and even things like business success, personal or professional achievement, or recognition brought to the Riverton community as a result of an individual’s efforts.”