Chamber of Commerce Director Rob Lincks introduced many of the award recipients, which included awards for community development, leadership, humanitarianism, and community service. The awards were given after dinner. Following the awards, comedian Rik Roberts entertained the crowd. Robert was born in Lexington, Ky., and has headlined at America’s top comedy clubs.
The awards included the following:
Discover Downtown Middlesboro was honored with the Community Appearance and Beautification award. Josh Wilkey accepted on their behalf. They got it for work on the Fountain Square at Cumberland Avenue and 20th Street, for cooperation with the city of Middlesboro, and for the placement of new street signs along Cumberland Ave.
The Community Development Award went to Shoffner and Mars, LLC for their hotel project that is currently underway in Middlesboro. The Sleep Inn, and eventually a convention center, will be located on a 14-acre tract of land off Hwy. 25-E.
Nally & Hamilton Coal received the Industry/ Business Appreciation award for renovating the Balkan School, turning it into a state-of-the-art training center. They completed this renovation in 2009.
The Leadership Award went to Middlesboro resident Harry Hoe, who is 85-years-old. Hoe was recognized for his many accomplishments and his son Bo Hoe accepted the award.
Judge-Executive Albey Brock presented the 2010 Outstanding Contribution Award to Mike White, Superintendent of Pineville Independent Schools. Brock said that the school system had helped during the 2009 snow storm that caused massive power outages in Bell County by opening up their gymnasium as a shelter. Brock said that when some people needed into the gym in the middle of the night White went to the gym personally to let the individuals in and stay with them.
The Humanitarian Award went to Arnold’s Athletics. For many years, Jeff and Billy Arnold have donated a pair of shoes to every child assisted through the RoHo program.
The Volunteer of the Year Award went to Lawrence Tuck. Tuck volunteers in several different capacities. Most notably, Tuck heads up the RoHo organization that benefits local children during the holidays.
The Historical Preservation Award went to the Bowling Project, Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College and Middlesboro Little Theatre for the historical project founded by the Bowling family that resulted in local author and SKCTC Instructor Amy Simpson penning “The Gatekeeper: Middlesboro’s History in Four Acts” and MLT’s recent staging.
The Lifetime Chamber Member honor went to Pineville resident Jennifer Jones, who has been involved with the chamber for many years, played a vital role with the Kentucky Mountain Laurel Festival, and is a former Judge-Executive. Jamirae Green accepted on her behalf.
The 2010 Community Service Award went to Tom Swisher, post-humously. He was a flag football coach and a member of the Pineville Rotary Club. He worked for Pineville Community Hospital as a security guard. He passed away on April 9, 2010.
Stephen Woodward is a Staff Writer for the Daily News. He may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.