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The Community Chest of Port Washington has selected Roberta A. Nixon to receive its Citizen of the Year Award, the highest honor bestowed by the local charity. Mrs. Nixon will be officially recognized on Tuesday, April 24, at 8 p.m. at the Chest's annual meeting at St. Stephen's Parish Hall. Members of the public are invited to attend.

Roberta Nixon - Citizen of the Year

The Chest established the prestigious Citizen of the Year Award over 20 years ago to "honor the rendering of outstanding service in the fields of health, education and welfare in the Port Washington community." Mrs. Nixon's background includes years of such service. Her myriad involvements throughout a lifetime in Port Washington exemplify the Chest's commitment to facilitate "the people of Port helping the people of Port."

Community activism has been Roberta Nixon's passion for over 35 years. In the past, she has served on the board of directors of Port Washington's Community Action Council and the Nassau County Economic Opportunity Commission. She is also past president of the Crescent Civic Center. During the 1960s, Roberta, along with other members of the African American community in Port Washington, developed the Soul-Brothers Day Camp, which served many children of all ethnicities for over a decade. Roberta was instrumental in winning the battle to complete the recent reconstruction of Harbor Road and received an environmental award from Residents for a More Beautiful Port Washington in 1977 in recognition of those efforts. Mrs. Nixon is also one of the founding members of the Port Washington Federal Credit Union.

Currently, Roberta is a member of the National Council of Negro Women, serving on the Committee for Senior Citizens Affairs and the Health Education Committee. She also serves on the board of the Community Chest and Littig House Community Center. Roberta is vice chairperson of the North Hempstead Housing Authority Board of Directors. This past year, Ms. Hazel Dukes, NY State President of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, appointed Roberta to serve as the NAACP's Long Island Regional Director.

Roberta has been a lifelong active member of Port's Mt. Olive African Methodist Episcopal Church, where she has served in varied capacities. Currently, she is a Sunday school teacher, a choir member, and a member of the social action committee. Roberta is also the historiographer of the Jamaica-Long Island District African Methodist Episcopal Church Missionary Society.

Mrs. Nixon is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Frederick Biddle Sr. Her paternal grandparents were also Port Washington residents. The Biddle-Dumpson-Townsend family line goes back six generations in this community.

After graduating from Paul D. Schreiber High School in 1955, Roberta briefly attended Belle Nursing School. Soon afterwards, she became employed full-time by the New York Telephone Company where she worked until she retired after 35 years. While working Mrs. Nixon attended the New York Institute of Technology's Management Training Certificate Program.

In 1957, Roberta married Waddie Nixon Jr. Together they had three children: Vivian Nixon of Port Washington, William Nixon of Freeport, and Thomas Nixon, who resides in Atlanta, Georgia. She has three grandchildren: Nadia, Alexis and Spencer.

Mrs. Nixon states that she is "both surprised and honored to be receiving the Citizen of the Year Award." She hopes that her example will encourage other members of the community to participate in volunteer services.

The Community Chest is a local volunteer organization founded in 1949 to consolidate fund raising for community agencies whose vital programs improve the quality of life in Port Washington. The success of these services depends not only on funding but also on the invaluable contributions of devotion, energy and talent provided by citizens like Roberta A. Nixon. The Chest is pleased to honor this remarkable woman as Citizen of the Year, 2000-2001.


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