Leon Spencer to be named 2017 Citizen of the Year

CHRIS BARBER - DIGITAL FIRST MEDIALeon Spencer, seen here at a recent Memorial Day Parade with his wife Kathy, has been selected Chester County Citizen of the Year.

KENNETT SQUARE >> Former Kennett Square Mayor Leon Spencer will be named Citizen of the Year next month at the Southern Chester County Chamber of Commerce 50th Annual Dinner on March 24 at Longwood Gardens.

“This is a real honor,” Spencer said. “But there can be no citizens of the year without citizens. Imagine a conductor waving his arms and there are no singers. It just doesn’t work. I’m grateful for the honor, but it’s a shared honor. I share it with all of you.”

The Outstanding Citizen of the Year Award recognizes individuals who unselfishly contribute to the community’s quality of life and display exemplary volunteer efforts demonstrating vision, leadership, and citizenship that positively impact the Southern Chester County community.

“Leon Spencer, Jr. is an exemplary example of community service,” said Cheryl Kuhn, President of the Southern Chester County Chamber of Commerce. “His tireless work in our community and his ability and desire to bring people together to work toward a common goal is truly outstanding. We are proud to select him as this year’s Outstanding Citizen of the Year award recipient and look forward to honoring him at our 50th Annual Dinner.”

In 2010, David Haradon, the current district governor for Rotary District 7450 that includes Chester County, staged a “Leon Spencer Day” after he retired as mayor, and it drew about 300 people.

“He’s always there, and he’s always caring for people,” Haradon said. “Leon is one of those special extraordinary people who makes a huge difference in the lives of everyone he touches. He lives a life of service, integrity, kindness, humility and respect with everyone he meets. He is truly everybody’s friend in his service and caring to others. He’s an ambassador for Kennett Square and for Southern Chester County, and at times, an ambassador for the world.”

“There are few humans that we can hold up before our children and grandchildren and say, ‘here’s an example of a life well lived, follow this example.’ Leon Spencer is one of those few,” said Barbara Lay Bolton on social media.

“Your integrity, kindness and willingness to serve others is exceptiona,” Elza Dampman said of Spencer.

Currently, Spencer is the School To Careers Specialist for the Technical College High School, Pennock’s Bridge campus, in West Grove. A co-founder of Pro Musica Studio (1995), he is a vocal instructor and an active performing musician. In addition to being a solo performer, he is bassist/vocalist for the ensemble known as SydeTwo and is lead vocalist for the R&B band Goodfoot.

Born in Wilmington, Delaware, Leon Spencer is a 1968 graduate of Kennett High School in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania. He received a Bachelor of Music Education degree from Muskingum University in New Concord, Ohio and attended Westminster Choir College in Princeton, New Jersey for graduate studies in vocal pedagogy and choral conducting.

Spencer was voted to the Kennett Consolidated School Board in 1993 where he served as vice president. He was also president of the Chester County Intermediate Unit Board of Directors, secretary of the board for the YMCA of the Brandywine Valley and a member of the boards for Southern Chester County United Way and Kendal-Crosslands Communities. He also served as mayor of the Borough of Kennett Square from 1999 to 2010. Currently, he is vice chairman of the Chester County School Authority, and a member of the board of the Chester County Regional Education Service.

Spencer resides in Kennett Square with his wife Kathryn. In addition to music, one of his passions is announcing sporting events at Kennett High School.

The Outstanding Citizen of the Year Award has been presented annually since 1968. Past recipients of this prestigious award include: 2005 Kathleen Lafferty, 2006 Doris Haley, 2007 Eva Verplanck, 2008 James T. Horn, 2009 Michael R. Walker, 2010 Janice Taylor, 2011 Terence Farrell, 2012 Stacie A. Kucera, 2013 Ken Goddu; 2014 Joan Holliday; and 2015 David Haradon.

The Chamber will honor Spencer on, March 24, at Longwood Gardens at 6:30 pm. In the picturesque setting of Longwood’s Conservatory, the annual dinner attracts business and community leaders for an evening of live entertainment, dinner, dancing and silent auction. Tickets are $175, with sponsorship opportunities available. To purchase tickets, visit www.scccc.com.

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