Gaylor honored by downtown development group
By News-Argus Staff
Published in News on September 23, 2007 2:09 AM
Charlie Gaylor has many accomplishments under his belt -- attending law school, helping to restore the historic city hall and helping get Union Station back on the map.
Friday night, he got added one more line to his resume.
Gaylor received the Lifetime Achievement Award during the Downtown Goldsboro Development Corp.'s 30th Annual Dinner and Awards Ceremony.
But he was none the wiser until his name was announced.
"My first clue was when my son arrived," Gaylor said. "He lives in Cary. I knew something was up then."
The award is not usually given on a yearly basis, DGDC executive director Julie Thompson said, and is reserved for those who truly show their commitment to the city.
In fact, Gaylor was only the fifth person to receive it.
"He was a potential candidate when we first started this award," she said.
And even though it took a few years, now seemed like the perfect time for the DGDC to honor the longtime volunteer.
"Recent events make it more special," Ms. Thompson said.
Those include the state's interest in rehabilitating Union Station, a project Gaylor helped initiate.
Fellow volunteers and city officials said Gaylor is the go-to person when it comes to knowledge of the city's past -- and a critical linchpin in helping determine its future.
Mayor Al King said in one of three videotaped tributes that when he wants to know something about Goldsboro's history, he calls Gaylor.
And the mayor said Gaylor got his love of the city and his dedication to community service from his parents.
"I know where you get your grit from," he said. "It's from your mother and your father."
Downtown investor and volunteer advocate David Weil said Gaylor's family would be proud of what he has achieved.
"I think you've taken (the improvement of Goldsboro) to a new level," Weil said in his tribute.
And although he heard all the accolades, Gaylor said Friday as he hoisted the trophy that there were plenty of people with whom he would like to share the honor.
"My wife should have really gotten this award as well," he said. "It was her that made the decision to move downtown. I am very thankful for her support through all of these years and what she has done. I thank my whole family really."
He added that members of the Goldsboro City Council, the mayor and the city employees all had a part in Goldsboro's rebirth.
"They all make me look pretty good," he said, adding it takes a mix of people working together to make things happen.
"It makes me very humble to be singled out," he added. "I am very honored."
In addition to Gaylor, Ms. Thompson and promotions coordinator Amber Jackson also announced the winners of several other awards honoring those who have given extraordinary support to the downtown cause.
The Volunteer of the Year Award went to Terry Yeh, who Ms. Jackson said "volunteers for everything."
Ms. Yeh, who has lived and worked downtown for 12-13 years, said she puts so much into her volunteer work because she loves the city.
"It is my home now," she said. "You have people who move into this town who come from everywhere. They brings parts of the world to us."
She added that those who have not yet explored what their city's downtown has to offer should try it.
"Give downtown a chance," she said. "You will not be disappointed. There is so much going on during any time of the year."
Former DGDC staff member Sherry Archibald won the Advocate of the Year award for her work to promote downtown.
Ms. Thompson credited Ms. Archibald's "genuine interest, hard work ... dedication and sweat and tears" with the increased interest in the downtown area, Ms. Thompson said.
Ms. Archibald said that even thought she now works with Habitat for Humanity, she said what she learned at the DGDC has given her a new appreciation for not only her city's downtown area -- but for historic preservation in general.
That's why vacations still include a cruise through whatever city they pass through's downtown area.
She said she is proud of what Goldsboro has accomplished.
"Looking at all the things that have changed in the last eight years, it makes you proud," she said.
Among those changes were the work of the local businesses that have taken historic storefronts and turned them into office or retail space.
The voting for the Design Improvement Award ended in a tie, with honors going to Cindy and Jeff Darwin for their work improving the facades of 102-110 N. John St., and to Bland, Heekin, Smith, Strickland and Stanley, PLLC, which took the former ABC building at 206 E. Mulberry St. and returned it to its former glory.
The DGDC Board Member of the Year award went to Michael Headen, who had to be "gently persuaded" onto the board, Ms. Thompson said, but once a member, has been very active in improving the city and maintaining the historical integrity of the renovations.
The Outstanding Investor honor went to the city of Goldsboro, which Ms. Thompson said has made improving downtown a priority from partnering with investor David Weil to recreate the Paramount to backing Union Station and allocating more funding to bettering downtown.
Robert Parker of Parker Advertising took home the plaque for Most Valuable Supporter, for his efforts to assist the DGDC with getting information about activities downtown to residents through marketing campaigns, television shows and advertising assistance.
The final award of the evening went to the B&G Grill, which was named Outstanding Merchant not only for its continued commitment to the downtown area, but for taking the chance to relocate there several years ago.
Special recognition was also given posthumously to Al Boykin, who served for many years as the downtown trolley conductor.
His daughter, Terry Hogg, accepted the honor on his behalf.
In addition to the awards, those gathered also heard a wrapup on the DGDC's accomplishments over the past year from outgoing -- and incoming -- president, Mark Webb, who thanked volunteers and supporters for their hard work during the past year and for their continued efforts in future endeavors.
The DGDC also acknowledged the newest additions to the downtown business roster, Pupetta's Italian Restaurant, The Flying Shamrock, Sharkey's Photography, Habottat for Humanity's Administrative Office, Art Team, The Corner Coffee Shop, Wine and Cheese Emporium, Attorney Crissy Mason, The Hot Dog Bar, Plum Tree Gardens Bed and Breakfast, Big O's Barbeque, November Entertainment and Pate and smith Investment Group.
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