26/02/19 12:16 PM
(Virginia Beach, VA) February 25, 2019-Arts, local businesses and the environment are themes for a party planned for April at Virginia MOCA to honor Laura Wood Habr, 2018 First Citizen of Virginia Beach. 
Habr is a co-founder of the Old Beach Farmers Market,  ViBe Creative District and co-owner of Croc’s 19th Street Bistro. Since 1950 this local award from The Virginia Beach Jaycees been honoring the men and women in our community who have been instrumental in furthering the welfare of Virginia Beach citizens. Laura joins the ranks of past Mayors, politicians and other local business owners who have been champions for growth in our own backyards. The 2017 honoree was Mr. Morgan Davis, President & CEO of TowneBank.
First Citizen Award Banquet
This year’s banquet honoring the 68th First Citizen of Virginia Beach will be held on April 22nd, 2019 at the Museum of Contemporary Arts. The Virginia Beach Jaycees are excited to work closely with Laura Habr, this year’s honoree, to integrate her many local passions into their evening celebration of her dedication to the city of Virginia Beach. Guests can expect an environmentally friendly program, made possible in part by sourcing with many local vendors for supplies and refreshments.
This year, the evening agenda has specific timing to ensure an optimal flow. Guests are encouraged to arrive on time to not miss the official award presentation:
530pm – 615pm: Opening Reception in the Rodriguez Pavilion
630pm – 7pm: Program in the Price Auditorium
7pm-930pm: Dinner in the Atrium & Rodriguez Pavilion

Kate Pittman, Executive Director of the ViBe Creative District and longtime friend of Habr’s wrote in her nomination packet, “Laura has worked passionately to improve her community for more than a decade and is an innovative civic leader.” 
Habr is well-known in the restaurant business where she owns Croc’s on 19th Street with her husband Kal, which is where the Virginia Beach Jaycees surprised Habr with her selection during the company’s 25th Anniversary/Customer Appreciation party on December 20th. 
The Habr’s have two daughters who share a passion for raising honey bees and local honey during the Old Beach Farmers Market hosted in their restaurant parking lot. 
“Laura’s nomination letters were infused with a level of energy that we haven’t seen in other packets. Her friends and supporters perfectly articulated her passion for projects that center on community and inclusion. From co-founding the Old Beach Farmer’s Market, to hosting a weekly ‘Drag Yourself to Brunch’ at Crocs, to establishing the ViBe Creative District – Laura has proven herself to be a friend of the people,” says First Citizen of Virginia Beach Chair Kayte Hamilton.
Habr serves on a number of boards and committees: Old Beach Farmers Market (co-founder); ViBe Creative District (co-founder); Green Drinks Virginia Beach (founder); Virginia Beach Restaurant Association; Chair of the Green Resort Ecofriendly Efficient Neighbors, a Sub-Committee of the Resort Advisory Commission; Founding board member, Business Alliance for Protecting the Atlantic Coast; Virginia Green Travel Alliance and serves on the City of Virginia Beach’s Green Ribbon Committee and Health Services Board . 
In addition, she’s a partner supporter of Virginia Green, Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Museum, Sensible Seafood program, Buy Fresh Buy Local, Hampton Roads Pride, Equality Virginia, Hampton Roads Pride, Virginia Arts Festival, Lynnhaven River NOW and many others.
In the following weeks, the Virginia Beach Jaycees will work closely with Habr to develop an awards ceremony in her honor. Additional information about the First Citizen of Virginia Beach Award and the Virginia Beach Jaycees are available on their website.

About the Virginia Beach Jaycees First Citizen Award
Since 1950, the Virginia Beach Jaycees have been hosting and honoring The First Citizen of Virginia Beach Award. To save you the math problem, that’s 68 years of acknowledging the excellence of our region’s most influential and community-oriented citizens. Mr. James Kontopanos kicked off the inaugural event as the first honoree. Since then, men and women of all ages, backgrounds and contributions have been nominated. Some of the honorees in the past have gone on to hold more prominent positions within the city and state, but our local ceremony has been “the most precious honor” for many. Joining the ranks of some of the most humble and influential people in Virginia Beach is an honor in and of itself.
To be a first citizen, one must meet the following criteria: 
  • A person who has relentlessly supported local business and citizen empowerment 
  • Someone who has been a positive role model in the Virginia Beach community 
  • A unique individual who may have been influential in the growth of the city 
  • Someone who lives and resides in Virginia Beach

And above all else, this person must  embody the United States Jaycees Creed.

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