11/03/05 — Duplin County will name two to Hall of Fame

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Duplin County will name two to Hall of Fame

By Bonnie Edwards
Published in News on November 3, 2005 1:50 PM

KENANSVILLE -- Two new people will be inducted into the Duplin County Hall of Fame tonight.

A full house is expected for the induction ceremony, which will be held at 6:30 p.m. at the Country Squire restaurant between Kenansville and Warsaw.

The Hall of Fame Banquet will be the 10th held by the Duplin Hall of Fame Board. The board is made up of people from all walks of life and from every area of the county.

Tonight's choice of two inductees, one living and one deceased, comes from a pool of 30 nominees, of whom 10 are living and 20 deceased.

"If you could just read (the nominations), they're all outstanding," said Anne Houston, president of the Hall of Fame.

Ms. Houston said a selection committee of five people from different professions and different geographic areas of the county go over the nominations, scoring each potential inductee on a point scale based on lifetime achievements and contributions to the county.

The five judges give up to 50 points for major achievements and contributions, a maximum of 5 points for honors and awards, 25 points for leadership and other capabilities, 20 points for community service and up to another 10 points for additional reasons the nominee would be a good choice for induction into the Hall of Fame.

The five judges, a minister, physician, educator, business owner and government official, never meet together. Their names remain anonymous, except to members of the Hall of Fame Board.

"In the years past when you look at the rankings, generally you would find that, out of the five judges, three have scored the same person number one and the other two have scored the same person in second place,"said Ms. Houston. "It's such an unbiased process. We designed it so a total stranger could pick up the nomination sheet and be able to score that nomination."

After the judges score the nominees, the nomination forms are returned to the board and are then sent to another committee that tallies the scores and ranks the nominations accordingly.

Ms. Houston said the board spent two years designing the process before holding the first banquet in 1996.

The idea for the Hall of Fame was the brainchild of the Kenansville Chamber of Commerce, but the members soon realized the Hall of Fame should be a county-wide endeavor.

The Kenansville group appealed to the community and ended up with 16 members from all over the county. The group formed into a board and did some research to develop guidelines and establish a way to give the tribute to deserving individuals. People would nominate those who have made significant contributions to the business, cultural, educational or voluntary sectors of Duplin County through noteworthy achievements, service or leadership. The board then developed the process for induction into the Duplin County Hall of Fame.

The board meets each year a couple of weeks after each banquet to start planning the next year's banquet, and they encourage people to start putting together their nominations right away. The deadline for nominations each year is Sept. 25.

Ms. Houston said nominees are scrutinized carefully because there are many people that have helped the county in many ways and deserve recognition.

"It's a privilege to read the nominations," Ms. Houston said. "They're all so deserving. Our richest blessing in our county are the people who have helped make the county great with their leadership and their service."