‘Diamonds’ are a Chamber’s best friend
One of Rockdale’s oldest businesses, and one of its newest business owners, were honored Thursday as the Rockdale Chamber of Commerce celebrated its diamond (60-year) anniversary with its annual banquet.
Bill and Pegg y Cooke of The Rockdale Reporter were named outstanding citizens ( long- standing service) and Lee’s Landing owner Lee Parsley was recognized as citizen of the year as the annual event drew 250 to the junior-high commons.
Rockdale Volunteer Fire Department was selected as organization of the year, Gatti’s Pizza was business of the year, Joyce Ford picked up the Good Neighbor Award and Genie Newton was ambassador of the year.
“Their business sup- ports every organization in Rockdale,” she said. “They are active in the Tejas Festival, MARC Board, Thursday Reading Club, Crown Garden Club, St. John’s United Methodist, East Side Tutoring, United Way, Rotary Club and playing drums for the Communities in Concert Band.”
She said Parsley, a lifelong member of the Rockdale community, “has always been willing to help, donate or lend a hand wherever there is a need.” She pointed out that Parsley contributed time and resources to fire and drought victims in 2011.
Business of the year Gatti’s Pizza sponsors numerous athletic tourneys, supports Project Graduation, Christmas Roundup and the MARC and Buddy Oney Toy Runs.
Jacob said owners Jeff and Rebecca King started youth basketball and volleyball programs and added, “They make a difference in our community.”
“Good Neighbor” Ford volunteers for every Chamber function and has managed vendors at events for several years, Jacob noted.
UNITED WAY—Raymon Puente, South Milam Count y Un ite d Way pr e sident , announced the annual U W awards as follows:
• Continuous Support, Rockdale ISD.
• Outstanding Support by indiv iduals, Jay and Bett y Brown.
• W. H. Cooke Award (outstanding support by a business or organization), Luminant.
• Special support, Citizens National Bank and Zachry Construction.
PROGRAM—Magician-inspirational speaker Tom Britton interspersed magic tricks with observations on life, goals and business.
KRXT’s Charlie McGregor served as banquet emcee.
Invocation and benediction were by Rev. Jack Chelf, pastor of First Baptist Church.
Donald David of VFW Post 6525 led the Pledge of Allegiance.
Awards were distributed by outgoing chairperson Cindy Jerman.
Jerman was recognized for her service and new chairperson Debra Jackson was also recognized.
Jackson is chairman, Jerman is past chairman, Mike Walko chairman elect and Bob Wilson is treasurer.
Chamber directors are Bob Stevens, Cyndia Ingram, Dave Phillips, Hunter Matula, Jenny Lehmkuhl, Ford, Mitul Patel, Pat Watson and Michelle Lehmkuhl, Jacob (president) and Denise Brock (executive assistant).
Chris Dyess is the sole retiring director.
Brock, was recognized as the Chamber’s newly- hired executive assistant.
Chamber ambassador officers are Julia Cardona, president, and Janice King, Jackson, vice-president.
Members are Joyce Dalley, Jackson, Tom Newton, Genie Newton, Billie Noack, Jerry and Wanda Waggoner, Jerman, Homer Mowdy, Gerry Offield, Jeanette Patschke, Renate Rocha, Charlie and Patricia Watson, Betty Backhaus, Alma Faye Bell, Lorena Castillo, Anna Duncum, Ford, Margo Gilless, Margaret Havel and Mario Casarez.