For the last two weeks I have been writing about the community pacesetters who recognized at the recent chamber of commerce banquet. In addition to the pacesetter awards, several other awards presented.
Giving recognition to those who have had accomplishments is an acknowledgment, by the chamber, of high achievements and of those who are doing special things for the community. Recognition is one of our basic needs. Everybody is in need of recognition. To give some positive strokes helps to meet that need. It also means that those who are recognized can feel that others are appreciative of what they do. It gives the recipients encouragement. It also gives others encouragement to see people receiving special recognition.
One of the honors presented each year is the President's Award. This recipient is selected by the president of the cchamber and salutes a person who goes above and beyond the usual commitment of an individual to the efforts of the chamber and to the community. Normally, those in the chamber office have knowledge of who is to receive this recognition -- not this year. Perhaps it is because they might have given it away ahead of time.
Jeremy Fast, 2008 vhamber president, announced that the award was being given to Cindy Johnson, who administers membership services for the chamber.
It is unusual for this award to be presented to someone on the chamber of commerce staff, but this has been an unusual year. Cindy put forth a lot of extra effort during the sixmonth period between executive directors.
As usual, the president made a good choice, as Cindy was well deserving of this special honor.
Cindy, Congratulations on receiving this honor.
The 2008 Community Improvement Award recognizes outstanding programs or individuals who improve Vernon County. The winner is honored by having a chamber of commerce scholarship awarded this spring in their name, to a local student.
This year, the Community Improvement Award was presented by Judge James Bickel (representing the Vernon County Court Program, 2008 recipient of the honor) to the Nevada/Vernon County Recycling Center.
"The development of this center for the use of our community shows Nevadans are green! This was an initial idea of Wayne Neal but has grown through grant use and exceeds even what Wayne had in mind. In 1993 there were 125 landfills in Missouri, and recycling has helped reduce this to just 23! We are improving our quality of life and quality of life for the generations to follow with the aide of the recycling center and the tireless efforts of Ron Clow the recycling center continues to grow," Bickel said, during the presentation.
This center certainly has had experienced great expansion and receives a lot of usage. It is impressive to go to the center when it is open and to see the large number of people involved in recycling. There are several workers involved, making this a busy place.
Congratulations to Ron Clow and all who are involved with the recycling center for being recognized for what you are doing to improve the community.
The other finalists or the Community Improvement Award were: Ash Place, for turning the vacant Ozark Building at the State Hospital into apartments; Celebrate Recovery, First Baptist Church, a Christ-centered recovery program to help experience God's healing power from their hurts, hang-ups and habits and Habitat for Humanity, volunteers working together to build homes in our community.
The late city manager Wayne Neal had a big impact on this community and it is for this reason a special award was established in his memory: The Wayne Neal Impact Award.
This award goes to a person, a business or organization that has made a major impact on the community. When it was established, some felt that this award may not be presented each year, depending on whether there was a worthy recipient for this special honor.
The award this year was presented to Barbara Long, Community Outreach Director, who continues the long standing tradition of excellence this award exemplifies.
Seth Barrett, 2009 chamber president, presented this special award. He recognized Barbara not only for sustaining an enormous food pantry operation, but also for working to help those individuals she and the many volunteers assist.
There are many in the community who recognize the great job that Barbara is doing with the food pantry and the community. She gives credit to the volunteers and others who work with her.
Among those who appreciate what Barbara is doing are the members of the Ministerial Alliance. Among the many things she does is to screen those applying for assistance from the organization.
The Pacesetter sponsors realize that recognition is important. These sponsors include Shelter Insurance --Perry Grizzle, Metz Bank, First National Bank, Team Bank and Ray's Trophies.
Folks, this event demonstrates that, as a community, we have a lot of special people and many things going well for us.