CRESTVIEW — Long-time Crestview resident and valued member of the community Claudis Dale received the Mae Reatha Coleman Citizen of the Year award, which is given to dedicated residents of Crestview.
City Hall was standing room only filled with Dale's family, church family and close friends.
Mayor David Cadle began the presentation of the award by reading Dale's bio.
Dale was born in Alabama along with her eight siblings and began working at the age of 15 to help her parents financially.
Dale moved to Crestview at the age of 24 where she and her late husband raised four sons and one daughter.
At the age of 26, Dale became a member of Macedonia Baptist Church, and has been faithful to ever since. She has also took on many roles in the church.
"She is truly a Godly women who loves to lift up the name of Jesus in prayers and songs," Cadle read from her bio.
Along with her church activity, Cadle listed the many organizations Dale is involved with including the Okaloosa County Minority HIV/Aids Task Force, the Carver Hill Memorial and Historic Society, Velma K Conyers Chapter 7 Order of the Eastern Star, and many more.
Dale also has visited the sick and homeless, usually with food.
"You need to get busier," Cadle joked.
Many in attendance stood with Dale and spoke about her love for helping the community.
"A lot of people don't know how to love, but truly, she knows how to love everybody," a fellow church member said.
Along with the friends that spoke highly of Dale's willingness to serve others, her children and granddaughter stood to testify of Dale's hard work and sacrifices.
"I didn't realize how hard she worked on the regular thinking back to when I was a kid reaping all of the benefits and not realizing actually how hard she worked," Grear Dale, one of Dale's four sons, said. "I remember those times. I remember those jobs. I'm a young man, and I didn't want to do those jobs."
After being presented the award, Dale took time to say a few words, and thank those in the crowd that supplied her with a job that she loves.
"I love everybody, black, green, purple ... I ain't got no such thing as colors...I'm with everybody. Let's do things together and love one another," Dale said with a roaring applause from the crowd.