Farmer, Educator, Citizen, and Businessperson of the Year recognized at Chamber banquet
PORTAGEVILLE - Portageville residents were honored for their work at the annual Chamber of Commerce Awards Banquet held March 30.
The first award of the evening was the Farmer of the Year. The nominees were: Bun Kimes, David Klipfel, Jon Warren, and the winner, Mike Rone.
“Mike is the best choice for this award because he has spent his entire life committed to the farming industry,” said Nick Cartee who presided over the banquet.”Mike works hard and always greets you with a smile and a wave. He’s a very friendly person who enjoys helping others. He puts a great deal of effort and works into the family farm to not only provide for his family but also the entire community and country.”
Cartee added that Rone knows the sacrifice and dedication that it takes to be a rural farmer, yet is still committed to the family business with his son. “He is polite and hardworking and is a tremendous example of an American Farmer in today’s industry,” said Cartee.
The second award presented was the Citizen of the Year award. The nominees were Eugene Poole, Lesley Rone, Mark Gibbins, and Tammy Wyman Puryear with Poole being announced as the winner.
“Brother Poole is always there to help anyone in our church or the community without hesitation,” Cartee said. “If you need a prayer warrior, he is the one you want in your corner. He is a selfless man who would give the shirt off of his back if he thought you needed it. He is a true blessing to our community.”
Dedicated not only to his church but also to his community, Poole was said to have a willingness to respond to every single person, whether it is a celebration, death or just a general problem or concern.
“Brother Eugene Poole demonstrates grace in all aspects of life and is a big part of our community,” said Cartee.
The third presentation was for the Educator of the Year Award.
The nominees were Emily Allred, Jeremy Angotti, Sue Ellen Flynn and Susan Penn with Allred named the winner.
“She is an amazing teacher whose passion for teaching is evident in the way she makes learning fun and a positive experience,” Cartee said.”She makes each child feel like they are important. I get the honor to work with her in the classroom every day and see the wonderful job she does in preschool.”
Cartee added that Allred has “a heart of gold and goes above and beyond with her present and past students as well.”
While displaying passion every day, Allred was said to work extra hard to make sure each student learns, no matter what it takes. She works hands-on with the children and has worked endlessly to able to supply her classroom with new educational toys that teach students life lessons along with having fun together.
“Mrs. Emily always has a joyful attitude and a big smile. The world needs more teachers like her,” said Cartee.
The last presentation of the evening was the Business Person of the Year. The nominees were Jobeth Williams, Joey Terrett, Nancy Wheeler and the winner, Dr. Trey Rone.
“Trey Rone is honest, committed and motivated,” Cartee said.”He always takes care of his customers. He even opened up the drugstore extra hours during the flu outbreak to ensure everyone had their prescriptions.”
Regardless of the situation, Rone is known to go the extra mile to make sure residents are taken care of while explaining medication and answering any questions residents may have, even in busy times.
“He goes above and beyond not only as a business owner but to the community as a whole. Portageville is a better place because of the time, support and dedication he brings to it. He has a genuine heart and cares for everyone equally, no matter their ability to pay or return the favor. Trey’s ambition is something we all seek to have and Portageville is lucky to have him,” said Cartee.
At the closing of the ceremony, the drawing of the $500 cash prize was announced and went to Joanna Bond.
This year’s theme for the banquet was Boot Scootin’ BBQ with the food prepared by Old Habits Barbecue.
Prior to the program, Chamber President Dr. Clint Klipfel ask Poole, pastor of the First Assembly of God for prayer and made general comments about last year’s activities.
“This event is a longstanding tradition of the past that we are very excited to be bringing back to the calendar for two years now,” Klipfel said. “We want to thank you for being here tonight and supporting not only our 16 nominees but also our entire local community. Events like these allow us to come together to celebrate our awesome and unique community in which we are so fortunate to have and be a part of. Without our local schools, businesses, agricultural market, and citizens like each of you, Portageville would not continue to be as prosperous and successful as it has been for so many years. So Thank you.”
Kipfel also thanked Portageville Parts Carquest and First State Bank and Trust for sponsoring the event as well as the staff at ’Tis the Season.
“In the past year, our small Chamber has really tried to make a big impact on the community,” Klipfel said. “Our 71st Annual National Soybean Festival was a great success with large crowds and participation, and our Holiday Open House in November was no disappointment either, offering horse-drawn wagon rides, raffles, and of course the annual tree lighting ceremony.”
Klipfel added that in December, the Chamber hosted their first ever Christmas Parade down Main Street, complete with Santa, Mrs. Claus and of course a little snow to add to the cheer. Following the parade, crowds enjoyed the 2nd Annual Cocoa Crawl while shopping at local businesses and eating decorated cookies. He also invited residents to attend Coffee Club, Lunch Brunch or general business meetings each month.
“We may be a small crowd, but we try to stay very busy and keep Portageville alive,” Klipfel said. “But none of it would be possible without your support.”
NOTES: The National Soybean Festival will be Oct. 7-12 and Main Street Madness will conclude the festival on Oct. 12 rather than being held at the beginning of the Festival. The theme of the 72nd National Soybean Festival will be “Through the Eyes of a Child-Favorite Storybooks of All Time.”