With less than 2 weeks left, no one nominated for Citizen of the Year

Submissions for other awards still being accepted, as well

By BRUCE ALSOBROOK | News-Telegram Managing Editor

Jan 4, 2008 - With less than two weeks before nominations close, the front-runner for the distinguished award of Hopkins County Citizen of the Year is ...


That's where things stood Wednesday regarding the award to be given out at the Feb. 7 Hopkins County Chamber of Commerce Membership Banquet, according to Chamber President Bill Elliott.

'"We haven't gotten a single nomination yet," Elliott said Wednesday afternoon. "Not a one."

The deadline to nominate someone for Citizen of the Year is Tuesday, Jan. 15.

Citizen of the Year is just one of several awards presented to outstanding citizens who serve the community during the annual Chamber banquet, now in its 82nd year. Nominations are also being accepted for most of the honors, which also include Woman of the Year, Caregiver of the Year, Agriculturist of the Year, Smal/Large Business of the Year, and Community Pride Awards.

The awards and nomination guidelines include:

Citizen of the Year

The Citizen of the Year award was established by Echo Publishing Co. in 1954 to recognize one Hopkins County citizen for selfless donation of time, talent and effort to the community. Siblings and husband and wife teams have shared the awards, as well. Last year's Citizen of the Year was Coy Johnson.

An anonymous committee selects the recipient of the award from a list of nominees submitted by local residents. 

Anyone wishing to place a name in nomination should include the accomplishments of the nominee, which can be from the past year or an accumulation of accomplishments over a period of years. Nominations must be dropped off at the Chamber offices at 1200 Houston St. or mailed to P.0. Box 347, Sulphur Springs. The deadline to submit a nomination is 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 15.

Woman of the Year

Beta Sigma Phi  is currently accepting nominations for its Woman of the Year Award, which has been presented each year since 1976 to a woman who goes above and beyond the call of duty to make the community a better place to live. Nominees must be Hopkins County residents and cannot be current or past members of Beta Sigma Phi. Award winners are typically recognized for civic, church and other volunteer work. The nomination cannot be for work they are paid for. 

The last recipient of the award was Ursula Campbell, who was praised for her volunteer work with the Terrific Tuesdays and Young at Heart programs at First United Methodist Church.

Nominations, which must include a letter explaining why that person is deserving of the award, can be mailed to Beta Sigma Phi, c/o Shirley Burney, 704 Plano St., Sulphur Springs, TX 75482. The deadline is Tuesday, Jan. 15.

Agriculturist of the Year

This honor is given by the Hopkins County Professional Ag Workers Association to individuals or families that have made significant contributions to the agribusiness industry. Harry Lewis was voted the most recent recipient after he opened the first certified organic dairy in Hopkins County, and also became the first African American organic certified dairy producer in Texas.

Send nominations with reasons explaining why the nominee is deserving of the award to Hopkins County Extension Office, P.O. Box 518, Sulphur Springs, TX 75483-0518. The nomination deadline is Tuesday, Jan. 15.

Caregiver of the Year

The Caregiver of the Year, sponsored by Pilot Club since 2004, honors local residents who provide voluntary caregiver service to others, especially those brain-related disorders or diseases such as Alzheimer's, dementia, Parkinson's and Huntington's, with no monetary compensation for their efforts. The last person recognized with the honor was Lynn Ward, wife of Tom Ward, who was diagnosed with a debilitating a progressive neurodegenerative disorder some five years ago. 

Submit a narrative of the nominee detailing the type of care they provide, how long they have been a caregiver, for whom they provide care, how they meet the award criteria, and why you think the person is deserving of the award to Pilot Club, 345 Highland Drive, Sulphur Springs, TX 75483. The deadline is Monday, Jan. 28.

Community Pride Awards

Community Pride Awards are given by the 1994 Adult Leadership Class to organizations or companies that show great pride in and work to make the community a better place to live. Hopkins County Historical Society and the Hopkins County Military Coalition took home the plaques in 2007.

There are four categories:

  • Business Community Pride Award - 25 or more employees
  • Business Community Pride Award - 24 or less employees
  • Volunteer Organization Community Pride Award - 25 or more members
  • Volunteer Organization Community Pride Award - 24 or fewer members

Nominations, with reasons for the nominations, should be sent to Lynda Hager at Guaranty Bond Bank, 919 Gilmer St., Sulphur Springs, TX 75482. The deadline is Friday, Jan. 25.

Small/Large Business of the Year

The Small Business of the Year (50 employees or less) and Large Business of the Year (51 employees or more) plaques go to local companies who operates admirable commercial enterprises while taking leadership roles in community activities and causes. The awards are presented by the Chamber Workforce Committee and were last given to Community Bank and M. Hanna Construction.

Nominations may be sent to the Hopkins County Chamber of Commerce, P.O. Box 347, Sulphur Springs, TX 75483-0347, with the name of the business and reasons for the nomination. The deadline for nominations is Friday, Jan. 25.

Educator of the Year

This award, sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce, singles out individuals, whether teachers, administrators or staff workers like custodians and cafeteria cooks, who exhibit the traits all educators strive for. Jill Shelby was given the tribute in February. The recipient is selected by the Chamber's Education Committee.

Vision Award

The Chamber-sponsored Vision Award is given to those who see an area of potential need or opportunity in the community. Paris Junior College was the last recipient. The winner is chosen by the Chamber's Board of Directors.

The banquet will begin at 6 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 7, at the Hopkins County Regional Civic Center, but is moving from the arena to a different area than in recent years. The exhibit hall will be used for the banquet meal, but the program and award presentations will take place in the auditorium.

"There will be no assigned seating this year," said Chamber President Bill Elliott. "It will be all open seating — first come, first served."

Tickets are $20 per seat. To reserve tickets or for more information, call the Chamber at 903-885-6515. 

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