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Outer Banks Chamber names Thornton Citizen of the Year

Industry veteran Buck Thornton has been honored as the 2007 Outer Banks Citizen of the Year.

The award, presented by the Outer Banks Chamber of Commerce and RBC Centura Bank, honors those who have made a lifetime commitment to North Carolina's Outer Banks community.

Thornton was an executive with former retailers Rhodes and Heilig-Meyers, and currently is an industry consultant.

He has served as Chairman of the Whalehead Preservation Trust and is responsible for the $6 million renovation of the Whalehead Club at Currituck Heritage Park in Corolla, N.C. For three years he led the Knights Ball, a fundraiser for the Whalehead Club, and for seven years he coordinated the Ships Watch Buck Island Beach Music Festival, a fundraiser for the N.C. Nature Conservancy.

Thornton is the developer of the Ships Watch resort community in Duck, N.C., and the TimBuck II Shopping Village in Corolla. He also was a race boat driver, winning 18 national and two world championships.

Thornton, who lives in Duck, said the honor came as a big surprise. His father was fond of saying, "The only satisfaction you're ever going to have in life is giving back," he recalled. "And truer words were never spoken."

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