Mount Olive honors citizens at banquet
By Steve Herring
Published in News on February 18, 2011 1:46 PM
Chris Daly, second from left, recipient of the Mount Olive Jaycees' Distinguished Service Award, poses with his family, from left, sons, Carson and Christopher, his wife, Holly, and son, Cuyler.
MOUNT OLIVE -- The people, young and old, who make a difference in their communities through their volunteer service were honored Thursday night during the fifth annual Membership Banquet and Awards Ceremony jointly sponsored by the Mount Olive Area Chamber of Commerce and Jaycees.
Held at Mount Olive College's Murphy Center, the event included the presentation of the Jaycees' 59th Distinguished Service Award -- the community's highest honor for community service -- which was presented to Chris Daly.
Retiring Chief of Police Ralph Schroeder received the Ruff Huggins Lifetime Community Service Award presented by the town and Chamber. The award is presented in honor of former mayor Ruff Huggins who is known for his many years of volunteer service.
Julie Beck, a Jaycee and Chamber volunteer, was presented with the Chamber's Lillian B. Langley Award in recognition of her dedication to the chamber. The award is given in memory of Mrs. Langley, who was a long-time volunteer with the chamber.
Honored were: Gaynell Herring Brock, Outstanding Senior Citizen; Phil Howell II, Outstanding Young Public Servant; Jessica Best, Outstanding Teenager; Skyler A. Hardy, Outstanding Young Educator; and Jeremy Williams, Outstanding Young Farmer.
Daly is a turkey farmer for Goldsboro Milling and is trainer/owner of Crossfit of Mount Olive. He is a 1993 graduate of Southern Wayne High School and 1997 graduate of N.C. State University, with a bachelor's degree in poultry science.
He was the Jaycees' Young Farmer of the Year in 2007.
He is the cubmaster for Pack 34 and is a member of the Carver Elementary School Parent Teacher Student Organization. He also volunteers at Mount Olive Middle School and with the Hurricanes youth football program.
He has been active in the Smith Chapel Fire Department since 2000 serving as captain, lieutenant and on the board of directors.
Daly has coached T-ball and Little League and is a member of the Mount Olive First Baptist Church.
His nominator wrote, "Chris Daly is a natural leader. He is dependable, trustworthy and strives to do his best in all his endeavors. He is a good listener, a good communicator and is passionate about helping people."
Daly and his wife, Holly, have three sons, Christopher Bryant Jr., 10, Carson Blane, 7, and Cuyler Benjamin, 5.
Gaynell Herring Brock, 81, who was honored as the Outstanding Senior Citizen, has managed the Southern Belle Restaurant since the death of her husband, Russell, in 1980.
"Her Sunday buffet is well known to the entire Mount Olive, Wayne and Duplin county communities. Food provided at a reasonable cost has been a tremendous asset for older members of our community," her nominator wrote. "Despite her age, she continues to work and inspire us all."
Howell, 20, a student at Mount Olive College, joined the Mount Olive Fire Department while still in high school and is only a few classes away from earning his Firefighter I and II certifications.
Williams, 28, is a graduate of Southern Wayne High School and received his associate degree in agri-business from Wayne Community College. He farms 300 acres of cotton, corn and soybeans while also serving on the Pricetown Fire Department.
Mrs. Hardy, 28, is a sixth-grade teacher at Spring Creek Elementary School.
Her nominator wrote, "Skyler works closely with the school counselor and the child and family support team. She talks with her students and parents on a regular basis and is keenly aware of their individual situations, She provides support as needed and then looks for outside resources when needed."
Miss Best, 17, was described as the "ideal student." The daughter of Doug and Cathy Best, she is a senior at Southern Wayne High School, where she is president of the student government association and National Honor Society and is a member of the tennis and soccer teams..
One nominator wrote, "She is an outstanding young lady. She is a model that other young people can and should follow. Jessica is involved in her school, her church and her community while maintaining high grades. She is a teenager of excellent character."