Delaine Donaldson is 2019 Effingham Citizen of the Year


Published on January 19 2019 8:02 pm
Last Updated on January 21 2019 7:50 am
Written by Greg Sapp



A man who keeps history alive in Effingham County has been named 2019 Effingham Citizen of the Year.

Delaine Donaldson, the retired history teacher at Effingham High School who has since been a driving force behind the Effingham County Cultural Center and Museum Association, received the honor Saturday night at the annual Business Recognition Gala of the Effingham County Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Donaldson and others have worked to bring the historic Effingham County Historic Courthouse Museum back to its 1870s glory with a painstaking restoration project. Donaldson is also a historical re-enactor and helps develop monthly presentations through much of the year on the history of the county.

As usual, a little subterfuge had to be used to get Donaldson to the event. He and others were told the Museum Association was to receive an award. The others later got the truth that the award was for Donaldson. He was left in the dark until the announcement he was to receive the honor, sponsored annually by the Effingham Daily News.

Local volunteer Jill Schultz received the 2019 Volunteer of the Year award, sponsored by the Effingham Teutopolis News Report.

There was also recognition of the late Tod Lancaster, who served as the Chamber banquet emcee for many years before his death shortly after last year's event.

The businesses honored for their contributions to the community for 2019 are Koerner Distributor and EJ Water Cooperative.

A circus theme was used for this year's event, billing Effingham County as "The Greatest Place on Earth".