By Janet Jacobs
Corsicana Daily Sun
The 96th Annual Corsicana and Navarro County Chamber of Commerce banquet held Thursday at the I.O.O.F. Event Center shared an evening of fellowship and celebration with a combination of accolades and surprises.
Oil City Iron Works received the Arthur J. Keeney Award, a prize named after the former Corsicana Daily Sun publisher and which is given to the person or company which has been consistent in supporting and promoting Corsicana. In 2013, Oil City contributed an estimated $129,000 in man hours and dollars to local non-profits, according to Chamber Executive Director Paul Hooper.
Brenda Stubbs of Community National Bank and Trust was named Volunteer of the Year, while Mickey Hillock accepted the Tom White Community Service Award.
Hillock, who has lived in Corsicana since about 1977, and who owns the Mickey’s Exxon and Wendy’s restaurant, said it was an honor to receive an award named after White. He pointed to the previous recipients of the award — Tom White, Oliver Albritton, and Dave Campbell.
“The men who got it before, to be put in that category is pretty awesome,” Hillock said. “Those are people who’ve done a heck of a lot for our community.”
Stubbs said she was caught unaware by the announcement Thursday. In her introduction, she was described as someone who goes above and beyond in her enthusiasm and dedication.
“It was quite a shock. I didn’t want to cry. I had no idea,” Stubbs said. She’s been volunteering with the chamber since about 2000 or 2001, she said.
“I enjoy it. I enjoy getting involved in the community and meeting people. I like it when we can help people. I’m a people person.”
The award for Ambassador of the Year was presented to Larry Wilson of Manpower. The ambassador’s prize is given to someone who works to encourage and retain businesses. Wilson has served on a variety of committees with the Chamber, including the Taste of Navarro County and the Community Expo.
Special awards were presented to Allied Waste, Community National Bank and Trust, Navarro College and Navarro Regional Hospital for their support and sponsorship of the evening’s banquet and awards presentation.
The previous year’s chairman’s award would have gone to Frank Steed, but he was recently injured and unable to attend, so his plaque was accepted on his behalf by Hooper.
In a departure from the norm of previous banquets, there was no guest speaker this year. Instead, entertainment was provided by Navarro College Swing Orchestra, and chamber members and guests were offered words of encouragement about success from both Hooper and income board chairman Maxine Moore.
Moore said the chamber would continue down the path laid out by the board and Steed, a vision that’s designed to challenge and strengthen the chamber and lead it into the future.
“Chamber success now and in the future will depend on you,” Moore said.
The evening also included a silent auction and the raffle drawing for a Kawasaki “Mule” vehicle, sponsored by Action Powersports, Innovative Therapies, Inc., Lelanie Petty Insurance Group, and Carl White’s Autoplex. The raffle was won by Billy Walpole.
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