Walterboro, S.C. – The City of Walterboro, known for its historic charm and abundant natural resources, has named Johnnie Thompson Walterboro’s 2012 Citizen of the Year. Thompson was honored during a presentation at the City’s Christmas reception, held at Main Street Grille on December 6, 2012. A red rocker, the City’s ubiquitous symbol of hospitality, was presented to Mr. Thompson by Mayor Bill Young.
Thompson, a Walterboro native, has served as a City Council member for 28 years, from 1979 to 2007. During that time, he also served as a member of the Walterboro-Colleton Airport Commission. From 1991 to 1995 he served as mayor pro-tem. He is a member of the Hiram E. Mann Chapter TAI, and was instrumental in the establishment of the Tuskegee Airmen Monument located at the Lowcountry Regional Airport. When asked why he served on City Council, he replied, “To serve the people of Walterboro and to make this City a better place to live.”
Thompson, who holds an A.D. in public services and criminal justice from Palmer College, is a retired Army Armored Tank Platoon Sergeant. A Korean War veteran, he received the Korean Presidential Citation, a Bronze Star, and the U.S. Army Commendation for his service. He is a current member of the Tuskegee Airmen, Inc., and is listed in Who’s Who Among African Americans. He and his wife Thelma Clemons have three children.
Walterboro Mayor Bill Young commented, “Johnnie has worked tirelessly to improve our community. Walterboro is a better place because of his contributions.”
The Citizen of the Year award was established in 2011 to honor those who contribute most to the community and who help to make the City a great place to live, work and play. Mr. Thompson is the first recipient of this award. The Citizen of the Year is chosen via an open submissions process and nominations are reviewed by a committee representing a broad view of City interests.
Established in 1826, the City of Walterboro is hailed as the “front porch of the Lowcountry,” with its historic charm, plentiful natural resources and warm Southern hospitality. Centrally located between Charleston, Savannah, Hilton Head, and Columbia, the City of Walterboro is poised in a prime location near several major highways, including Interstate 95. It is also home to the largest general aviation airport in the state and is only an hour away from the international ports in Charleston and Savannah. The area around the city, rich with forests and vast quantities of water, is also known as the gateway to the ACE Basin, one of the largest undeveloped estuaries on the East Coast. The city itself features two listings on the National Register of Historic Districts, a beautiful historic downtown, antique stores, the Great Swamp Sanctuary, and the S.C. Artisans Center, designated by the state’s legislature as the “Official South Carolina Folk Art and Craft Center.” While Walterboro serves as the economic heart of Colleton County, it maintains a small-town Americana atmosphere to be enjoyed by residents, visitors, and businesses. For more information, call 843-782-1000 or visit www.walterborosc.org.