Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

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June 20, 2014

Chamber honors a bit humbling — From humbling honors to just a bit of casual visiting, it was an annual “celebration” this week for the Pauls Valley Chamber of Commerce.

Tuesday night’s banquet-like gathering again featured some individual honors for PV residents who give their time to help the chamber and the community.

For the second straight year there are two chamber citizens of the year as Della Wilson and Brian Black shared the honor.

Hinkle Printing and Office Supply in the downtown area was named the chamber’s corporate citizen of the year.

“I feel very privileged and honored to be with each of the past winners,” Wilson said. “I’m truly inspired by them all.

“I’m very proud of Pauls Valley. When I talk about Pauls Valley I tell people it’s special, we’re special.

“I genuinely and sincerely call you my friends. I not only feel like citizen of the year; I feel like grandma of the year,” she said while introducing her family in attendance.

“Just know how proud I am to be a citizen of Pauls Valley and I love you.”

Wilson is best known as the chamber’s president until she left the position last year.

She’s also served as the director of Main Street Pauls Valley and worked at the local Toy and Action Figure Museum in its early days.

Black was next as he appeared surprised by his co-citizen honor.

“I’m humbled — wow, gosh, what an honor,” said Black. “Love God, love others and nothing else matters.

“It’s been my privilege to be a part of this community for the last 12 years,” he said.

“I’m so grateful for his honor, so grateful for my family and so grateful to be a part of this community.”

Black, who serves on a number of community committees, is a minister at Cornerstone Community Church and volunteers as a firefighter and chaplain with the local fire department.

Making the introductions were last year’s citizen honorees Ronnie Patton and Lucille Ensey.

The response for the corporate honor included a group of Hinkle Printing employees going together to accept the plaque.

“We thank Pauls Valley,” said Buddy Strickland.

Chamber President Sherri Wing also gave out special “Lifesaver” awards to outgoing board chairman Howard Grider, his replacement Sharon Burgin and Allie Burgin for all his volunteer work.

“We’re here to celebrate what makes Pauls Valley such a great place to work, live and play,” Grider said as he officially closes out his year as the leader of the chamber’s board of directors.

“What makes it great is the dedication to the community,” he said.

“I want to thank Sherri Wing since she’s come on board for working tirelessly for the chamber and Pauls Valley.”

Sharon Burgin’s brief comments also focused on PV’s positives.

“There’s a great spirit of cooperation in Pauls Valley,” Burgin said. “There’s great camaraderie going on. Let’s keep this spirit of cooperation going.

“Let’s make Pauls Valley the best small town in Oklahoma.”

Part of that effort came with the first ever showing of a “fun” video put together recently to promote Pauls Valley.

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