Chamber honors local groups at banquet

BRENT ADDLEMAN Managing Editor
Ray Reynolds, center, was named the Healthcare Hero Award winner by the Glen Rose/Somervell County Chamber of Commerce on Friday evening at the Somervell County Expo Center during the annual Chamber Banquet. At right is Reynolds' wife, Debbie. At left is Rhonda Cagle, president of the Glen Rose/Somervell County Chamber of Commerce.

The Glen Rose/Somervell County Chamber of Commerce celebrated 2014 on Friday night, as local officials, organizations and businesses came together for the chamber banquet at the Somervell County Expo Center.

The night began with the Tarleton Jazz Band playing the hits of the jazz era in the background, kicking off a celebration of local achievements.

Jesse McClure served as master of ceremonies for the event, stating this was a “time for everyone to come together and be proud of the strong community Glen Rose has.”

“We have big dreams and big pride in Glen Rose,” McClure said.

For Rhonda Cagle, president of the Glen Rose/Somervell Chamber of Commerce, Friday night was “the night to celebrate.”

A dinner of chicken breast, beef stroganoff, beef tips, green beans wrapped in bacon and a roll followed a dinner salad and hors d’oeuvres prepared by students from Glen Rose High School’s culinary arts classes.

The high point of the evening was the standing ovation and raucous applause given to Ray Reynolds, chief executive officer of Glen Rose Medical Center, upon receiving the Healthcare Hero award.

The award, according to Cagle, “honors the one hero in the delivery of healthcare to the community” and the chamber sought to “salute excellence, encourage innovation, offer examples of best practices for others to emulate and raise awareness in the community and enhance the quality of healthcare in the community” in selecting Reynolds.

Reynolds very humbly, and quickly, made his way through the cheering crowd with a smile emblazoned on his face to graciously accept the award.

“I would like to accept this award on behalf of the employees and staff of your hospital and your clinic,” Reynolds said. “Thank you very much.”

The Chamber Spirit Award was given to Jerry Prather and recognizes an individual who is very supportive of the chamber, comes to meetings and is out and about in the community supporting other businesses, according to Cagle.

“Thank you very much,” Prather said. “I can’t tell you how much I appreciate this award.

“We are hard-pressed to give back as much as we are receiving from this community. You folks are just amazing. It is an absolute pleasure. I am loving every minute of it, and so is my wife. We just feel very blessed to be here and be part of this community. Thank you very much for this award.”

The Chamber Business Spirit Award went to Jesse McClure of Simple Simon’s Pizza. The award, according to Cagle, goes to a business that goes beyond what is expected of them to help the community they serve.

“They serve food to the community, they do delivery during the cold and ice, they will deliver diapers, water and pizza,” Cagle said in announcing the winner.

“I dedicated this award to … the one person who has worked the hardest – me!” McClure said excitedly upon receiving the award. “I am an amazing pizza maker. No, but seriously, my wife and I, we constantly care about the people who give to us. It is not just about serving food to anybody. Every time you hand me money, I put it in the cash register and it feeds my kids. That is something I take extremely personal, and it means the world to me. We do everything we can to make sure that we give a percentage of all that back into the community. We do everything we can to give back as much as possible.”

Sharon Lawler was awarded the Citizen of the Year Award from Dennis Moore, Glen Rose’s mayor.

“The lady receiving this award this year is secretary of the Somervell County Cancer Support Group, she is actively involved in Relay for Life, involved in her church, supervises volunteers at Glen Rose Medical Center and worked at GRMC for over 40 years,” Moore said, as he introduced the award winner.

Christmas In Action took home the first award of the night – the Community Service Award.

“This award goes to a group that helps out in the community and is aware of what this community needs, and works hard for this community,” Cagle said.

The Ag Family Award went to Robin and Terry Gosdin.

Brent Addleman is managing editor of the Glen Rose Reporter. He can be reached at 254-897-2282 or email to brent.addleman@theglenrosereporter.com. Follow him on Twitter: @GRR_Editor.