Chamber to present awards

Published 10:16 pm Saturday, November 8, 2008

What does a community-minded volunteer and the organization she led, a hometown entrepreneur, a grassroots civic club and a newspaper committed to giving back to the community all have in common?

All five will be honored later this month at the Greater Lawrence County Area Chamber of Commerce’s annual awards banquet.

The event will be Nov. 20 at Ohio University Southern in the Rotunda. A reception will be 5-6 p.m. with dinner following and the awards presentations at 6:45 p.m.

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Carol Allen will be honored as the George Patterson Person of the Year for her community service that includes co-chairing the Ironton in Bloom organization, which will share the Project Impact Award for Beautification with Operation TLC (Tidy Up Lawrence County).

“I am surprised, humbled, and thrilled to be named Community Person of the Year. I love Lawrence County and feel blessed that I have had the privilege to work with so many wonderful individuals who shared similar passions,” Allen said.

“We in Ironton in Bloom are so appreciative of this recognition. Our mission is to plant pride in our city and this award underscores the fact that others in the community feel that we have been successful in reaching and surpassing our first year goals. We are already making plans for 2009. Thank you!”

Taunya Wilson of TLC hopes this will show others what civic groups can accomplish.

“I think it is a wonderful thing to recognize the efforts of the volunteers.

Working together we can make a difference,” she said. “Volunteers make a huge difference in our community. We hope more people will come on board and take an interest.”

Joe Freeman, owner of Health Management Nursing Services Inc, Ultimate Healthcare Inc., and Quality Care Nursing Services Inc. in South Point and Gallipolis, will be honored as Entrepreneur of the Year.

“I basically felt like I didn’t deserve it but it is a wonderful award,” Freeman said of his initial response. “I want to thank my clients and staff. If not for them, I wouldn’t be successful.”

The Tribune will be recognized as Business of the Year for its community projects that include being one of the original organizers of the Gus Macker basketball tournament, sponsoring the Ironton in Bloom and continuing to support the Lawrence County Relay for Life, The Eastern Lawrence Youth Soccer Association and dozens of other civic clubs, church events, school activities and community projects.

“We are truly honored and humbled to receive this award from our peers in the community,” said Tribune publisher Michael Caldwell. “The entire staff deserves praise for their commitment not only to producing an entertaining and informative newspaper but also for understanding our role in helping make Lawrence County a better place.”

“I could think of many other businesses that are just as or more deserving so we will work diligently to continue to be a positive force in the community in honor of all those other businesses.”

The cost is $25 per person. RSVP is required before Nov. 13 by calling (740) 377-4550 or by –mail at