Davies named Centerville’s 2022 Citizen of YearJun 09, 2022 10:43AM ● By Tom Haraldsen
The Centerville-Farmington Rotary Club has named Shelley L. Davies as Centerville’s 2022 Citizen of the Year. She was honored at the club’s annual installation banquet held at the Oakridge Country Club.
“Anyone, from royalty to the down and out, who meets Shelley feels like they have a new best friend” wrote Matt Eddington, a member of the club. “The Friend to Friend program, which Shelley lovingly created 13 years ago at Rogers Memorial Theatre, is perfectly named. Today, 90 students, which were born with ‘remarkabilities,’ as Shelley calls it, participate in the program at the CenterPoint Theatre. Forty to 50 more have participated over the years.”
Eddington said her passionate walk with remarkables started in her childhood with a neighbor boy named Micky, who was born with an extra chromosome. It was reinforced when she was called to serve in the presidency of the Special Needs Primary some 30 years ago. When her son, Matt, was attending Centerville Jr. High School, he suggested that they start a dance class for special needs kids; five kids participated.
“Every Friday from 4 to 6 p.m., you’ll find Shelley in the basement practice hall of CenterPoint Theatre, practicing for the next production, which they do semi-annually on the Barlow Main Stage,” Eddington wrote. “The back stories of every production will put a lump in your throat. From the autistic Zach, who has an aversion to hugging, embracing his play brothers in Joseph, to Kattie, who would make every performance of Peter Pan unique, to wheelchair bound Mark, whose voice comes to life when he sings on stage, but is very difficult to understand in regular conversation.”
Like Davies, the 20 Friend to Friend coaches volunteer hundreds of hours of their time and incredible talents to these special folks, Eddington said.
She has other service passions as well. For many years she donated her time and talents to the PTA. She and Debbie Bastian were the creators of POP (Power of Positive) at Stewart Elementary. For many years she has been very involved with Centerville’s Independence Day celebrations. With the gracious help of many, she pulled off the 4th of July Parade, which she was in charge of, three weeks after her son unexpectedly passed. For 17 years, she was heavily involved with Viewmont High’s annual musical productions.
She served many years as a seminary and institute teacher. She loves her country, so she has been very involved politically. In addition to serving many times as a county and state delegate, she’s helped many candidates with their political campaigns, from city mayors to congress men and women.
“Since her beloved Bill passed last year, she’s wondered if she should down-size her home,” Eddington said. “To this point, she just can’t do it. She’s lived in Centerville since 1979. She can’t even think of living anywhere but Centerville. Shelley LOVES Centerville! And Centerville LOVES her. It is with deep admiration and gratitude we recognize Shelley L. Davies as Centerville’s 2022 Citizen of the Year.”