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Local leaders lauded

The Pike County Chamber of Commerce honored local community leaders and business owners at the annual Community Awards Dinner Tuesday, Jan. 15, with Anna Evans named Volunteer of the Year and Joy Walker honored as Citizen of the Year. Small Business Award: McLeRoy Realty The Small Business of the Year award was presented to a local company with fewer than 50 employees that has a large impact on the community. The chamber awarded McLeRoy Realty the distinction of Small Business of the Year. ’This is a very tough working environment for all of us. Everybody in a small community is working together to make things happen and the chamber is a prime example of that,’ said Scott Pinner of 92.5 FM. ‘Anybody who knows real estate knows their industry is especially tough. With 10 employees, this business has supported various causes for the high school, middle school and American Legion among others. You have to give credit where credit is due.’ Large Business Award: TenCate Protective Fabrics The Large Business of the Year Award was presented to a local business with more than 50 employees. This year’s recipient was TenCate Protective Fabrics. ’TenCate is the only U.S. supplier of fire-protective fabrics. They made garments for the U.S. Marshall Service. Their fabrics help to protect U.S. military members while they’re in combat and protect firefighters across the country,’ said outgoing board chairman Jerry Crawford. ‘We also have to realize the importance of the jobs they provide here and they’ve played a big role in this county.’ Organization Award: American Cancer Society The Organization of the Year award went to the American Cancer Society, which has a presence in 5,100 communities, including Pike County, and have contributed to nearly every major cancer research breakthrough that has been made. Volunteer Award: Anna Evans The Pike County Lions Club presented the Volunteer of the Year award to Evans, who helped establish the Wednesday Market in Zebulon and has been an active member of the agricultural community. She plans the annual Lunch and Learn event, does demonstrations for school classes, co-founded the Market on the Square held every Saturday during the spring and fall and is an integral part of the SlowExposures Children’s Exhibit. ’The Wednesday Market is an online, virtual farmer’s market that allows shoppers to pick their products from home,’ said Evans. ‘It started Jan. 26, 2011 and as of October has put about $55,000 back into the pockets of Pike farmers. When you pick up your produce on Wednesdays, those things were in the ground that morning. You can’t get food any fresher than that. A lot of our items are organically grown and you can see them all at Supporting local farming families is always a good thing.’ Citizen Award: Joy Walker The Pike County Kiwanis Club honored Walker as Citizen of the Year. ’When you look at the beautiful restoration of the courthouse, this person has to come to mind,’ said Jason Brisendine. ‘Many thought the courthouse should be abandoned but she held a public hearing and offered tours. She engaged opponents with respect and courtesy and was willing to listen. At the end of the day, the SPLOST passed and it wouldn’t have happened without her service. She’s a remarkable example to all of us on what can be accomplished in the community.’ Leadership Pike: Britain Turner spoke about the Leadership Pike Class of 2013 and outlined a little of what the program will offer, including a trip to see the Georgia Power storm center and operations headquarters, a tour of local farms with a chance to milk cows, visits to TenCate, Upson Regional Medical Center and the Pike County sheriff’s office, jail and training shooting range. ’There are so many aspects of this community we don’t realize are going on behind the scenes,’ Turner said. ‘This class provided me with a lot of insight. I’m really glad I got to go through the program.’ Members of the 2013 Leadership Pike Class include Renee Adams, Patricia Beckham, Lance Blythe, Martha Coffey, Stanley Copeland, Michael K. Cox, Stephanie Fowler, Steve Hendrix, Tim Jones, Shep Marsh, Billy McDowell, John Morrison, Aaron Paschal, Jim Quick, Cora Shackelford, Kim Stephens, Jared Thompson, Nadine Tyft, Erma Williams and Greta Wood. Outgoing directors Outgoing directors include Charlotte Bennett, Tripp Brisendine, Charles Burden and Bobby Ferris. Each were presented with an award for their service. The board of directors for 2013 include executive committee members chairman Fred Rudbeck of Georgia Power Company, first vice chair Britain Turner of Turner Tech Services, second vice chair Sallie Barker of URMC, treasurer Brent Huckaby of First Bank of Pike and immediate past chair Jerry Crawford of First National Bank of Griffin. Directors include Joyce Cox of Burden Funeral Home, Ryan Edge of Southern Federal Credit Union, Alicia Gibson of McLeRoy Realty, Ricky Grice of AgSouth Farm Credit, Josh Hendricks of Southern Rivers Energy, local attorney Kevin Hurt, Tom Lacey of Farm Bureau, Ben Maxedon of Prayer Power of Georgia, Michael Powell of Pike County Resource Network, Kathleen Smith of Spalding Regional Hospital and William Tuttle of United Bank. System Teacher of the Year Also recognized was Pike County Teacher of the Year Mandy Cloy, who has taught in Pike schools since 2006. Some quotes from her students include one from Lexi who said, ‘Ms. Cloy is awesome because she is just good.’

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