Note: A new feature for us this week will be looking back at past issues of the Tri-City Times. With our Imlay City Area Chamber of Commerce looking for nominations for “Citizen of the Year” we thought this article printed December 8, 1982 was a good choice. The story was written by Karl Bayer, editor from 1979 to 1983. We hope it brings back fond memories and a reminder to all of us to get your nominations in to the Chamber to keep this long standing tradition of honoring our business people alive and well.


Gene Coscarelli, President of the Imlay City Bank, was named Citizen of the Year at the Imlay City Area Chamber of Commerce Christmas Dinner Saturday night.

The annual award has been presented to a person that best exemplifies sacrifice, participation and concern in the community. The person is nominated for the honor and then is elected by the Board of Directors of the Chamber of Commerce.

This is the 9th year the award has been presented. The past recipients of the award are Dr. Glenn Smith, James Morrice, Ronald Juip, John Folk, Fred Bissett, Les and Thelma Cole, Carlton and Gerry Van Wagoner and Elsie Baird, who were all present at the dinner.

In presenting the award to Coscarelli, Clayton Preisel told the group Gene was very deserving of the award, by his past and present community activities and the very presence of all the award recipients at the dinner was proof of the prestige and credibility of it.

In accepting the award, Coscarelli told the nearly 300 attending, “I’m very touched by this award and want you all to know that you’re also part of it. Thank you all for the honor.”

Later, Coscarelli told the Times, “I’m absolutely honored to be included in such a fine group of people. There are many in the community that are more worthy and I am really grateful for the recognition.”

Chamber of Commerce president Bob Stevens commented, “I realize how difficult it is to select a Citizen of the Year from so many people who have done so much for their community and I am well pleased with the Chamber’s selection of Gene Coscarelli.”

The owner and operator of Coscarelli’s Party Store and now president of the Imlay Bank, Coscarelli has also been active in many community groups, organizations and boards. He is a past president of Rotary, a former Board member of Casa Maria, the treasurer of the Mental Health Board of Lapeer County, a past president of the Chamber of Commerce, a life member of the VFW and a member of the American Legion. He is also a past member of the Board of the Spanish Information Center, a past Grand Knight of the Knights of Columbus, a member of the Downtown Development Authority, a former member of the Board of Eduction and treasurer of the Imlay City Senior Citizens Housing.

He and his wife Marian have 5 children, Cathy, Louise, Paul, Nancy and Gail.

Before the presentation of the Citizen of the Year, radio personality Bud Guest Jr. entertained and following the presentation there was dancing.