Each January, during the Mayor's Breakfast, the mayor announces the name of the Haddonfield Citizen of the Year – a resident whose contributions to the community make him or her worthy of special recognition.
The award was first presented in 1973, sponsored by the Jaycees (now defunct). The award is now sponsored by the Lions Club, which also organizes the Mayor's Breakfast.
Typically, nominations are called sometime after Thanksgiving, with a deadline of late December. The Lions Club issues the call on its website, and sends announcements to community organizations and the media. The nomination form may be downloaded from the Lions Club website. To be considered, a nominee must (a) be a resident of Haddonfield, and (b) have exhibited exceptional dedication and service to the community.
Nominations are evaluated by a committee of five: the mayor, the president of the Civic Association, the chair of Zone PTA, a representative of the Council of Churches, and a former Citizen of the Year appointed by the Lions Club facilitator. That committee then chooses the recipient. Nominees who were not selected are included automatically in the following year's pool of nominees. The name of the recipient is a closely guarded secret until it is announced by the mayor.
The recipient is presented with a plaque and is invited to ride in a position of honor in the Independence Day parade. The Rotary Club invites the recipient to attend its weekly meeting, the first Wednesday after the Mayor's Breakfast.
For a chronological list of recipients, see: Citizens of the Year (award recipients).
Two married couples have received the award: Chizzy and Ruth Evans in 1993; and Bob Twitchell and Jan Twitchell, in 1981 and 2002 respectively. Two recipients were named in 2004 – Beverly Lloyd-Aldeghi and Butch Brees.