David Miller said he wanted everyone to know that he didn't walk alone, even as he accepted the Plant City Family YMCA's Strong Leader Award.
Miller, an 83-year-old retired fertilizer company executive, praised others after hearing accolade after accolade at the Aug. 28 awards ceremony. He credited others and downplayed his own role in raising millions of dollars over the years for community projects, including for the YMCA's $4 million center in Plant City.
YMCA board member Bruce Rodwell said Miller deserved every kind word offered by friends, family and community leaders at the banquet. But giving praise to others has always been Miller's way, Rodwell said.
"David Miller never took any accolades for anything," Rodwell said. "He helped so many times, but he never took the credit."
Miller received a standing ovation as Plant City YMCA board member Tammy Ferrell presented him with the annual award at Hillsborough Community College's John R. Trinkle Center.
Miller said he felt honored.
"It's been an absolute great experience. Plant City has been great for me all those years."
Mayor Mike Sparkman presented Miller with a city proclamation and recounted many of his efforts to help, from offering political advice to raising money for HCC's Trinkle center.
"We truly love you and appreciate you for all you've done for our community," Sparkman said.
Miller moved to Plant City in 1982 after his employer, CF Industries, transferred him to the area. He ran CF's operations at the Port of Tampa and later its Bartow plant before he retired in 1998 after 34 years of service with the company.
2003: Mike Sparkman
2004: Betty Chambers
2005: Randy Larson
2006: Cindy Churchill
2007: Rick and Di Lott
2008: Sherrie Mueller
2009: Tommy Warnock
2010: Fred Johnson
2011: B.M. "Mac" Smith Jr.