Last Thursday night the Eastland Chamber of Commerce hosted their annual Golden Deed Award Banquet. The, oh-my-gosh-good dinner was provided by Hardin’s BBQ. It was hard to keep from tapping your feet while dining as the Eastland High School Jazz Band provided the dining entertainment. More EHS Jazz Band Music
The theme was designed around the Visionaries in Preservation program and sitting on each table were pictures of Eastland’s landscapes and buildings of it’s past, provided by the Eastland Historical Committee. Placemats told the story of how some of Eastland’s street names came to be. Miniature signs and greenery, provided by Hardwick’s Nursery, were used as centerpieces on white tablecloths, giving the large room a cozy and welcome feel to it.
Clint Coffee, incoming president of the Chamber, gave the opening welcome and presented the awards. Clint introduced Eastland’s favorite celebrity, Texas Slim, who, with his usual antics and quips, MC’d the evening.
Matt Synatschk, representative of the Visionaries in Preservation Program, showed a video explaining the value of this program in which Eastland was recently selected to participate.
Sharon Siebert was presented the Past President’s Award for her service as Eastland Chamber President of 2009.
Winners for the Outstanding Students Awards:
Lindsay Riffle – 9th Grade. Lindsay is the daughter of Mitch and Kay Riffle. She is ranked third in her class, she is the freshman class secretary and is a Junior Varsity Cheerleader. She participates in the Allegiance Cheer Company’s competitive squad. Lindsay is a member of the First Baptist Church. She walked to raise money and awareness for Epilepsy and the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center. She plans to become a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner or an actress.
Tiffani Peeples – 10th Grade. Tiffani is the daughter of Kerri Peeples and the late Terry Peeples. She ranks third in her class and is a member of the Key Club, Art Club, the Drama Club and Beta Club. She has been in the UIL One Act Play for two years and was an Honorable Mention All District last year. Tiffani volunteers with Autism Speaks and has participated in the West Texas Autism walks for the last three years. She is a member of the Leon River Cowboy Church. She provided hospice care for her dad in his final months of his battle with cancer last year.
Susan Coffee – 11th Grade. Susan is the daughter of Clint and Jenny Coffee. She is ranked first in her class and is involved in varsity cheer leading, student council, the Beta Club, UIL Theatrical Design Team, and UIL Poetry. She was voted as class favorite by her class, has been selected to attend the John Ben Shepperd Leadership Institute, and has been selected to represent the Eastland Rotary Club at the RYLA Leadership Camp this summer. Susan volunteers with Autism Speaks making crafts and jewelry that are sold to make money for the organization. Susan has been a World Changers Missionary for the last two summers in Los Angeles and New Orleans. She plans to graduate from Cisco College with her associates degree before she graduates from high school. She will attend Baylor or TCU and plans to become an orthodontist.
Stetson Wheat – 12th Grade. Stetson is the son of Gary and Lois Wheat. He is ranked first in his class and participates in Varsity Football and Tennis. He is a member of the Beta Club and is active in the Carbon Community Baptist Church. Stetson has worked for Buck Wheat Resources since he was in 5th grade. He has volunteered to help in improving the home conditions for elderly and disabled citizens of Lueders, TX. He is a passionate hunter and fisherman and plans to attend Texas A&M.
The Volunteer of the Year Award went to C&H Monograms/Polkadot Patch which donated in excess of $10,000.00 worth of goods, services and money over the past year. Over the past year this business worked with various benefits and fundraisers including the Terry Peeples benefit, the Wayne Sharp benefit golf tournament, the Martha Rainey medical fund, the Austin Orms t-shirt benefit, several cancer benefits to raise awareness and donations, and two different t-shirt benefits for Mr. Norman Logan. C&H Monograms also donates monogramming to all the Eastland Memorial Hopital Volunteers for their aprons. They are also an avid supporter of Autism Speaks and over the past two years have donated $2,000.00 which qualified them as “Grand Club” sponsors.
The Community Service of the Year Award went to The Old Toads, headed by Pam Rose. This group has been responsible for flowers and plants around the courthouse, the post office drive thru, the Women’s Club, KATX, the Police Department, outside the Eastland Library, and around the railroad depot area. They provided decorations around the square on Halloween and added lights to the square during the Christmas season.
The Business of the Year Award went to Girling Health Care who have been caring for over 25 years in the Eastland County area. Locally this company employees a comprehensive staff that includes eleven registered nurses, ten licensed vocational nurses, five home health aids, one community educator, two full time physical therapists (both have PhD’s) and a support staff of seven. All of their employees live in the communities where they provide care, with a “neighborhood nursing concept.” By utilizing local talent, they provide a positive impact to the local area, and their employees’ participation in local activities and events creates an intangible contribution to the area.
Mayor Mark Pipkin introduced the Golden Deed Award winner by holding up four different items that he felt would describe this year’s winner. The first item was a Bible, the second was a red and black Maverick pom pom, the third set of items were a calculator and a copy of Microsoft Excel, and the last item was an Allsup’s travel mug. These items told everyone who knew him that Larry Vernon was this year’s winner. The introduction of Larry by Mayor Pipkin can be replayed in the podcast below.
Special thanks went to: Debbie Wharton, Alpha Graphics, Bobby Williamson, Ranger College, Eastland I.S.D., Playoff Sports, The Texas Historical Commission, Larry Wesson, Bill Dolen, The Gold Lantern, The First Baptist Church for providing the facilities, and Representative Jim Keffer who provided award winners with a signed official certificate from his office.
Silent Auction items were donated by Carolyn White and Cathy Jentho
President – Clint Coffee
Vice President – Tom O’Neil
Treasurer – Cory Criswell
Sheri Johnson, Carolyn White, Richard Rossander, Jim Farrar, Angela Kennedy Robinson, Sharon Siebert, Gordon Woolam