An important event of the community each year is the Nevada/Vernon County Area Chamber of Commerce awards banquet, which was held Saturday night at the Eagles Lodge. More than 200 had made reservations to attend.
The pacesetter awards are a great way of recognizing special businesses, organizations and persons who are outstanding. These are people working hard to make Nevada and Vernon County better for all of us. It means much to the recipients. It is good to give recognition for what they have done. It also gives them encouragement to continue their special efforts and provides encouragement to others to keep striving for providing good service. The recipients were the stars recognized Saturday night.
Nominations were solicited from the entire 325 chamber membership. The list was narrowed down to the top three or four finalists in each category. With all of these deserving finalists it is always difficult to select the honorees. There are a large number who are deserving of this type of recognition.
In many ways Nevada has elevated its baseball offerings to the extent that it could be called a baseball town. Among the baseball programs are the Griffons, beginning last year the Red Sox for older youth, a large participation in the summer youth baseball program and youth traveling teams. This is in addition to having Champion Diamonds in the community that brings in a large number of people for baseball.
The person recognized at the banquet as the 2008 Individual Pacesetter is a person that has devoted much toward baseball in the community. Wilson Liter was the recipient of this special recognition. Here is an individual who has worked tirelessly for this effort.
Certainly, he has made a great contribution to the community, though many may not realize what he has done. It is great that he is finally being recognized for his accomplishments.
Jeremy Fast, 2008 chamber president, presented the award to Wilson. A statement made during the presentation was, "The field may bear his name, but the town benefits from his presence." One of the fields at Centennial Park is the Wilson Liter field.
Wilson has worked with the baseball programs for approximately 20 years. He is out there working everyday during the summer in the evenings and on weekends. This week he has sown grass seed on the snow.
Cottey College softball will be playing on Bushwhacker Field. He is confident that the field will be ready for play. They have the needed equipment to keep the fields in good shape.
Last summer I was amazed how nice the field at Lyons Stadium looked. It has a grass infield, which was formerly a dirt infield. The good grass infield has made a tremendous improvement in the field. In a conversation with him he told how he and others worked a month to make the improvement.
Wilson is looking forward to the Griffons season this summer. He said that it looks better. They will have a different schedule this year with games scheduled closer to home. This will reduce the traveling expenses. A bus is being leased from a person at Amsterdam, Mo.
A fund raiser held Sunday raised $900, which will help with the expenses. His involvement with the baseball program gives a hint of the scope of his dedication.
In addition to baseball he is an active member of the United Methodist Church.
Congratulations go to Wilson Liter for receiving the 2008 Pacesetter Award.
The other finalists are worthy of being named as Pacesetter included: Pat Chambers, recognized as Citizen of the Year by the Rotary Club in 2008, is a person committed to many organizations and the community through work and volunteerism.
Bill Erwin has done much for community development and has given assistance for Habitat for Humanity homes.
Linda Platt is dedicated to working with Cottey students in service learning programs in the community, which has proven to be a great way to get the students involved in the community.
Appreciation goes to these three finalists for their contributions to society and also congratulations for being finalists for this special recognition.
Masters of ceremonies for the awards program were Seth Barrett, 2009 chamber president, and Cat McGrath-Farmer. Other pacesetters included agri-business, small business, and large business.
These recognitions as well as others will be discussed in future columns.