Friday, July 21, 2017

TOP STORY >> Historic district awards dinner

Leader staff writer

Twenty Jacksonville residents are up for five awards in the first-ever citizen of the year banquet hosted by the Jacksonville Historical District at the community center at 6 p.m. Thursday.

The banquet includes dinner, the awards ceremony and a silent auction.

Each individual was nominated by a friend, peer or co-worker and the winners will be announced at the banquet.

Four residents are up for Citizen of the Year. They are Lauren Martin, Larry Wilson, Dr. Alan Storeygard and Jerry Sanders.

Martin, with Double R Florist, has helped with the Father-Daughter Banquet, Jacksonville City Fest Pageant and more.

Wilson donates to Arkansas Run for the Fallen, Wreaths Across America and Saint Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital.

Storeygard is member of the Sister Cities Council and sponsor of the annual IBLA Foundation, which brings classical music performers from around the world to Jacksonville.

Sanders is the founder of the Pencil Store and organized the JHS All-Class reunion.

Harold Gwatney and Charles Hale Jr. are up for the Veteran of the Year award.

Gwatney is a former adjutant general with the Arkansas National Guard. He has been active with the Boys and Girls Club and helped start the Pencil Store, which provides school supplies to Jacksonville students and schools.

Hale is an Army and Air Force veteran. He volunteers weekly as a den leader with Cub Scouts.

Andy West and Kristen Kennon are vying for Realtor of the Year. West has donated funds, time and energy to many organizations and helps with many of the city pageants.

Kennon is the president of the Jacksonville Sertoma Club and an active board member of the Boys and Girls Club.

Five Jacksonville business people have been nominated for Independent Business of the Year.

They include Michael Lebron, who is active with the Stuff the Limo project, which provides toys for needy children in the area; Joan Zumwalt, who is responsible for the expansion of Pathfinders and is a strong force behind the military museum, and Steven Powell, who started the first licensed mobile salon in Arkansas and travels throughout the state providing free haircuts to seniors, the homeless, low income people and people with disabilities.

Also up for the award are Allen and Karen West and state Rep. Bob Johnson (D-Jacksonville).

The Wests donate time, money and supplies to Arkansas Children’s Hospital and have helped low-income families in the city. Johnson volunteers at the senior center and works with the Jacksonville Historical District and Sertoma.

Volunteer of the Year honors will go to one of seven people: Johnny Hicks, LaConda Watson, Laura Walker, Valerie Perry, Judy Van NewKirk, Linda Lowe or Nicole Ford.

Hicks is active in the community-policing programs in Sunnyside and Jacksonville Towers. He also provides candy and toys to children.

Watson is a Jacksonville-North Pulaski School District board member, director of the Boys and Girls Club and is active in the community.

Walker is vice president of the Jacksonville Sertoma Club and volunteers and helps in a number of city and community projects. Perry is also a Sertoma Club member and volunteers at the Jacksonville Senior Center.

Van NewKirk is active in the local Cub Scouts, serving as a den leader and cub master. Lowe created a park behind her church and provides transportation to the store, doctor appointments and church for those who do not have a car or can no longer drive.

Ford volunteers with the AR Read Program during the school year. She also works with the reading program at the Boys and Girls Club several days a week.

The night of honors will also feature a silent auction as a way to raise funds for the historical district. Items include a mini Hot Springs vacation, a gun safe, a wine bag, a weed eater, a chainsaw, jewelry and a jewelry box, among other items..

Tickets are available from Jacksonville Florist, Time to Shine, Alderman Barabara Mashburn or Lida Feller.