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Citizen of Year Recipients Call honor Humbling, Surprising

Dennis Booth said he did not know that he and his wife, Anne, had been chosen to share the 2013 Citizen of Year honor until he received a phone call from a friend Wednesday morning, who wanted to congratulate them.

“I had somebody call and ask if I had got my paper yet,” Booth said. “I said ‘no’ and then they told me to go get it and they would call me back. They didn’t want to ruin the surprise.”

Booth, who is the owner of a successful local farm equipment business in Yuma, said the recognition was both humbling and a surprise.

“We appreciate the honor and are very blessed,” Booth said. “We have a lot of compassion for all the good things that are going on in Yuma, so we are just trying to do our part.”

Started in 1986, Booth Machinery is now a multimillion-dollar company that employs 40 people. The company was also the overall winner of the 2009 Workplace Excellence Award.

Booth allows his conference room to be used for free by a variety of groups, including for Yuma County Farm Bureau meetings, political candidate forums and church events.

In their nomination letter to the Yuma Sun, which sponsors the annual honor, the Booths were recognized for their selfless involvement in the community over the years.

“These are two very deserving people who give back so much in our community,” noted the nomination letter. “There are many boards and clubs Dennis and Anne are in, locally and on the state level … They are true givers.”

While Booth said he and his wife were very appreciative that their commitment, civic duty and spirit to their community had not gone unnoticed, he also admitted that they get a lot of self-satisfaction from helping others.

“We get a lot of internal value from the giving process,” Booth said. “It is nice to be honored for what you have done.”

Booth’s desire to help others can be traced directly to his love for his community and for those who live here. He said he and his wife will continue all types of community efforts.

“We aren’t going to quit because of the award,” Booth said. “We are definitely in it for the long haul, to do what we can do improve the community, and help the folks in it.”

A member of Caballeros de Yuma, Dennis served as el presidente and has chaired events put on by the organization, including Midnight at the Oasis and the Colorado River Crossing Balloon Festival. He was instrumental in bringing the El Toro Bowl hosted by the Caballeros back to Yuma and co-chaired the bowl committee this year. In addition, he is an active member of the Matador Athletic Association.

He also has chaired The Salvation Army advisory board and he and his wife have headed up the agency’s Christmas fundraising drive.

The Booths also volunteer at Crossroads Mission and last year Dennis donated a much needed forklift.

Anne, meanwhile, puts in many hours a week as volunteer coordinator for the mission’s Second Chance Thrift Store, where she has been instrumental in increasing the volunteer base and improving the appearance and functionality of the store. “She basically functions as their unpaid assistant manager,” stated the nomination.

Anne also helps with the mission’s voucher program, giving clothing and furniture to the needy. According to the nomination, she has been “caught” giving them money out of her own pocket if the needed items weren’t available. And she always buys for needy children at Christmas.

While he has enjoyed his time on the Arizona Western College District Governing Board, Booth said he and his wife plan to become more involved in the Crossroads Mission Second Chance Thrift Store.

Booth added that he and his wife both feel blessed to live in Yuma.

“The community has supported us and allowed us to grow our business so we are in a position to give back,” Booth said. “It is a great place.”