Columns for the past two weeks have discussed the Pacesetter awards presented by the chamber of commerce earlier in the month. There were other awards in addition to Pacesetter awards that were presented to those well deserving of special recognition.
One such honor is the President's Award, presented to an outstanding volunteer selected by the president. This award salutes the above and beyond commitment of an individual to the efforts of the chamber and the community. The President's Award was presented to Jim Tedlock, 3M, who has been described as "a man of his word."
When presenting the award 2007 chamber president Jeremy Fast said, "Jim's commitment to the chamber and 3M organization is rare and greatly appreciated. His service over the past three years as our treasurer and director has been exemplary -- when needed, he's there, when asked he never questions the why -- he's opinionated, but passionate and has been a role model for all of us 'youngsters' who are new to community and service to others." Congratulations Jim, for all you have done and for your leadership, as well as your dedication.
When I congratulated Lee Day for Cherry Street Grill being awarded the 2007 Rookie of the Award, his comment was, "Just a hole in the wall." That is exactly what happened. Cherry Street Grill is owned by Lee and his wife, Kathleen. They took what appeared to be a hole in the wall and did what seemed to be impossible, making it into a good restaurant, with a good atmosphere and great food. It is also a smoke-free establishment. It has proven to be a successful business -- more than what he had expected. They met one of the needs in the community by providing a restaurant that is of a higher scale. They also provide catering service.
Last year was the first time that the Rookie of the Year Award was presented. This is a good concept. This gives an opportunity to recognize businesses that are getting off to a good start and to give them encouragement. This year's recognition was presented by last year's winners, Christy and Jessica Sloniker, of Daylight Donuts. It was announced lately that Daylight Donuts will have a second location, in addition to their location on the Square. Also they have expanded their business in their marketing. Congratulations go to this year's winner which was also nominated in the small categories. We can also look forward to them continuing to meet the needs of the community.
Other finalists for the rookie award were Madison's Place, owned by Amy and Rowdee Whittington, which has helped to meet the need for a clothing store for all ages, and Osage Prairie RV Park, owned by Brent and Loucinda Coursey, where many improvements have been made and an increase of overnighters. Congratulations go to these two finalists and for the success that they have had as rookies and for their contributions to the community.
A neat award that is meaningful to the recipient is the Community Pride Award, recognizing outstanding programs or individuals who improve Vernon County as Pride Scholarships are awarded this spring in their name. This is meaningful to be honored by being named in honor of scholarships. The Community Pride Award was presented by Ron and Shirley Peckman, representing the Vernon County Youth Fair, last year's recipient of the Pride Award.
This year's award went to The Vernon County Drug Court, represented by Judge Jim Bickel and Judge Jerry McBeth. Many lives in Vernon County have been changed as a result of this special program. A sense of self worth has been created where none existed. This organization has made it possible for life to continue for those who had no way out. The members of this organization are making a major contribution to the community.
The other finalists were McReed Construction, represented by James McKenzie and crews for re-development of blighted neighborhoods throughout Nevada; and the Teen Angel Programs, represented by Jason Claspill and Terri Meyers and family for their outreach to forgotten teens, ages 13-18, during the holidays.
These three finalists are to be congratulated for their special contributions to community pride. During the awards program several stars were spotlighted. Certainly this represents many individuals, businesses and organizations that are helping to make Vernon County a better place.
The sponsors for the Pacesetter awards included First National Bank, Perry Grizzle Shelter Insurance, Heritage State Bank, Metz Banking Company, Team Bank, US Bank and Wilkinson Pharmacy. These sponsors recognized the importance of the awards and made the recognitions possible.