His various contributions to the community earned C.E. “Bud” White the admiration and respect of the Rotary Club of Saipan, which presented him with its Citizen of the Year Award Tuesday night.
Accompanied by his wife Donna, Bud White received his plaque presented by Rotary double past president David Igitol during the installation ceremony for the club’s 2012-2013 officers and directors.
White, who helped establish the Commonwealth Cancer Association and currently serves as its board president, also served on the Commonwealth Utilities Corp. board, helped create and served on the board of the Center for Independent Living in the CNMI, a member of the Saipan Chamber of Commerce, served on the Friends of the Arts board, as well as brought public radio broadcasting to Saipan and became chair of the KRNM public radio community advisory board.
Owner of White Coconut Computer Services, White also contributes to the island community by sponsoring village baseball teams and the computer repair training of 10 individuals at the Philippine Consulate General, and acting as guardian for young children.
White said he was surprised to be given the award as he was invited to Tuesday night’s ceremony thinking that another person was going to receive an award. “I had no idea that this was going to happen,” said White who has lived on Saipan for over three decades.
White said it is an honor to live on Saipan where he gets to enjoy nature’s rewards every day. “To be part of a community, you give back to that community and it comes back ten-fold,” White told Saipan Tribune.
Other individuals were also presented with awards at the event. Special recognition was given to David M. Sablan, founder and charter president of the Rotary Club of Saipan.
Past president Pete Igitol described Sablan as a person “who has given of himself for a very long time” to the ideals of the Rotary through his contributions to the community.
A former Guam resident, Sablan was a member of a Rotary Club in Guam even when he moved to Saipan, where he worked on establishing the Rotary Club of Saipan in 1967 and had the local chapter of the service organization chartered in 1968.
“I’m quite honored that president Pete Igitol recognized the fact that I’ve been with the Rotary for 55 years,” said Sablan in an interview.
The Perfect Attendance award was presented to Rotarians who attended meetings and activities for 2011-2012: Glen Perez, Kim Forrester, Richard Cody, Karl Reyes, Laila Boyer, Ken Kato, and Pete Igitol.
Igitol and Rotarian Timothy Bellas each received an 18-K Rotary pin for their $1,000 donation to the Rotary Foundation, which granted them the Paul Harris Fellowship, named after the Rotary founder.
The Rotarian of the Year award will be given during one of Rotary’s weekly meetings at the Hyatt Regency Saipan’s Giovanni’s Restaurant.