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CHS grad is Cambridge City Citizen of the Year

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Ken Newton, right, is presented the Cambridge City Evening Kiwanis Citizen of the Year Award Tuesday at the Golay Center by Mick Fowler, the 2017 recipient.
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Cambridge City Evening Kiwanis Club 2018 Citizen of the Year Ken Newton is surrounded by previous winners of the award. Pictured, from left are, seated, Nancy Alford, 2015; Amy Engle, 2012; Newton; Jody Johnson, 2006; and Barb Ringwald, 2008; and, standing from left are John Engle, 2014; Jim Sweet, 1995; Mick Fowler, 2017; Orland “Bud” Hatfield, 2013; Alan Austin, 2016; Father John Luerman, 1999; and Charlie Ringwald, 2008.

By DARRELL SMITH - dsmith@newsexaminer.com

CAMBRIDGE CITY — Getting Cambridge City’s Citizen of the Year award winner to a meeting to honor him took a little white lie.

The lie even included the name of a local pastor.

Pharmacist Ken Newton received the award at the Golay Center with several former award winners in attendance. The Kiwanis Club had asked him to come to Tuesday’s meeting to tell stories about his pastor, Danny Berry. The club told Newton that Berry would be receiving the honor.

“I said I had some great stories, so, sure,” Newton said. “I told Karen we need to think of some funny stories but when he (Berry) walked in, I didn’t see any of his family. Alan (Austin, 2016 winner) told me they had the family in the hallway and they would come out at the end.”

 

To Newton’s further surprise, his children and grandchildren came out of the hallway after the announcement.

“This is how we recognize citizens of our community who do selfless work day in and day out,” said Amber Hale, Evening Kiwanis president.

She read the names of previous winners, starting in 1961 with the late Charles Golay, the donor for the Golay Center, and continuing through 2017 with long-time Cambridge City Town Council member Mick Fowler.

The 2012 Citizen of the Year, Amy Engle, read Newton’s many accomplishments.

He graduated from Connersville High School in 1975 and then went to Purdue University to study pharmacy. He met his wife Karen at Purdue. They have four children and eight grandchildren.

He became a partner in the Economy Drug Store, which at the time had locations in Connersville and in Cutshaw’s Market in Cambridge City. The family moved to Cambridge City in 1999. The partners sold the pharmacy in 2002 and he worked at area pharmacies including Grandview Pharmacy.

In 2013, he and partners opened the first MediCenter Pharmacy in New Castle but the next year moved it to Cutshaw’s Market. They later opened locations in Liberty and at the Reid Health Whitewater Valley Medical Center in Connersville. The fourth location opened earlier Tuesday with the purchase of Midtown MediCenter Pharmacy in Richmond.

While in Fayette County, Newton served on the boards of the Boys and Girls Club, United Way and American Diabetes Association of Fayette County and as president of National League Little League and was a member of the Connersville Lions Club. He served as elder at Central Christian Church when living in here and Cambridge City Christian Church after moving to the community.

He began coaching baseball and basketball at age 15. While in West Lafayette, he coached an elementary team of boys and girls. As his children became involved in sports, he coached youth league and travel teams. He coached Connersville Middle School girls basketball and served as CHS girls assistant coach. He has served as assistant coach for both the Lincoln High School girls and boys basketball teams and also for boys and girls teams at Community Christian School.

“Spanning 46 years, he has coached and touched the lives of countless young people,” Engle said. “In addition to coaching, he has mentored a couple of boys at Lincoln Middle School and High School and is a volunteer for the Friday night Keystone program at Cambridge City Christian School.”

The news made Newton nearly speechless.

“My family did a nice job (keeping quiet),” he said. “I was in Tennessee this last week and not one person said a word to me about it. When you have that many little ones, you would have thought one would.

“I have been blessed to be here. It is a great community and I love it, I’ve always said that and thank you.”

 Selecting Newton was an “Easy choice,” said Mick Fowler, 2017 winner. “He helps people every day. He’s a great guy. He works with the church and works with the children. He coached and mentored children, what better choice could you have?”

The most recent recipients comprise a committee to choose the next award winner.