Chamber, Jaycees host banquet, add new volunteer award
By Catharin Shepard
Published in News on February 19, 2010 3:04 PM
At left, Paige Barwick, 2009 recipient of the Mount Olive Area Jaycees Distinguished Service Award, stands with 2008 DSA recipient Kristal Jones.
From left, Keith Waller, Alex Ferrell, George Kornegay, Paige Barwick, Tim Woodard, Brooks Daly, Ruff Huggins and Ernie Taylor stand with their award plaques after the fourth annual membership banquet and awards ceremony.
MOUNT OLIVE -- Paige Barwick has always tried to live up to her father, Branny Vickory's example.
On Thursday, at the annual Mount Olive Area Chamber of Commerce and Jaycees Award Banquet, she got to follow in his footsteps as she accepted the Distinguished Service Award, the same honor her father received more than 15 years ago.
"It's really great, he and my mom both have been amazing role models. Community service and making the community a better place has been extremely important to both of them, and they instilled that in my brother and I when we were very little. Being able to share that with him means a whole lot," she said.
"I was really shocked, it's a real honor. It's such a big part of my life, growing up, DSA night is so exciting," she said.
The joint awards ceremony, started just four years ago, honors the dedication and spirit of service of outstanding local citizens who demonstrate a commitment to their community.
"Mount Olive truly wouldn't be what it is today without the efforts from people like you," Chamber President Tyler Barwick said.
Mrs. Barwick, the daughter of Branny and Debbie Vickory of Mount Olive, is the director of technology, marking and branch alignment for Eastern Aluminum Supply.
Her contributions to the community, evidence of leadership ability and evidence of personal progress led the selection committee to present her with the award. Mrs. Barwick has served as chairman of the Susan G. Komen Cure for Cancer road race, chairman of the N.C. Pickle Festival golf tournament, president of the Mount Olive Jaycees, serves on the steering committee of the Steele Memorial Library and plays violin at the Mount Olive Baptist Church. She is a member of the First United Methodist Church.
In a surprise presentation, Lynn Williams, chairman-elect of the chamber, revealed the introduction of a new award presented jointly by the chamber and the Jaycees. In honor of former Mount Olive Mayor B.R. Ruff Huggins, the two organizations unveiled the Ruff Huggins Lifetime Community Service Award.
The award will not be given annually, but will be presented when appropriate by the two organizations, Ms. Williams said.
Huggins himself received a special plaque of recognition - and a birthday cake, celebrating his 85th birthday.
"It's really an honor, I can't explain it, but I don't know that I deserve that. I've just been here trying to do the best I can, and maybe I was doing something right. ... And I'm still trying to do something right," he said.
Mount Olive Hurricanes Coach Alex Ferrell then became the first recipient of the lifetime community service award in recognition of his many years of work with the local football team.
Ferrell has inspired hundreds of local young men to be successful on and off the football field, Ms. Williams said.
"For many of these boys, he and the assistant coaches are the positive influence they so desperately need," she said.
Ferrell has worked feverishly over the past year to bring the defending champion Mount Olive Hurricanes to a home football field, raising money to put in the football field that now resides behind the old Carver School on South Breazeale Avenue in Mount Olive.
"To win an award named after Mr. Huggins, who has done so much for this community, is truly an honor," he said.
Ernie Taylor received the Lillian B. Langley Award from the chamber in recognition of his dedication to helping the organization prepare for many local events.
Brooks Daly, a physical education teacher at Carver Elementary and a volunteer firefighter with the Smith Chapel Volunteer Fire Department, received the Outstanding Young Teacher Award.
Ms. Daly has taught physical education for six years and is currently working on her master's degree while working full-time and serving as an active leader in her church.
Keith Waller received the Outstanding Young Farmer Award. He was nominated for his efforts in soil and water conservation and contributions to the community.
George Kornegay Jr.'s contributions to the community and leadership ability were the reasons why he received the Outstanding Senior Citizen Award.
Kornegay has been a driving force in the town in pursuing economic development, water and sewer development, health care facilities, educational facilities, medical services and the town's industrial park. He has been involved in every major fundraiser at the First United Methodist Church of Mount Olive over the years, and serves as president of the Kornegay Company.
Mount Olive College Director of Admissions Tim Woodard received the 2009 Boss of the Year award from the Jaycees for service to his family, church, community, nation and the Jaycees.