It was a award-filled night when the Weatherford Chamber of Commerce announced this year’s award recipients at the 99th annual chamber banquet at Dove Ridge Vineyard Tuesday night.
“I’m a very sentimental person, so things like 99 years, that really hits me and I’m just so honored to be here and be a part of tonight,” Weatherford Chamber of Commerce President Tammy Gazzola said. “We live in a community that appreciates and recognizes and supports our growth. I think the people that hosted the first banquet back in 1920 would be so proud of our community and our chamber today. I think they would be surprised to know that the chamber of commerce has over 850 members and that this year we celebrated over 100 of those.”
Awards included the Large and Small Business of the Year, the James H. Doss Award, the Outstanding Citizen Award, the Athena Award, the Rising Star Award as well as the inaugural Roger Grizzard Community Service Award.
The Rising Star Award was awarded to John Patterson, vice president of First National Bank Weatherford; the Small Business of the Year was awarded to Cox Financial Group; the Large Business of the Year was awarded to Weatherford College; the Athena Award was given to Sharon Hayes, Weatherford city manager; the James H. Doss Award was given to Lonna Leach, WC Foundation board of directors; Ambassador of the Year was awarded to Curtis Tucker; and the Outstanding Citizen Award went to Paul Paschall, mayor of Weatherford.
“We are a blessed community. The individuals and businesses honored are exemplary and as we listened to the recognitions and acceptance speeches, the theme of servant leadership and community was echoed time and time again,” Gazzola said. “These folks are what make Weatherford, Texas great, and we are honored to be able to recognize them all.”
Paschall presented the inaugural Roger Grizzard Community Service Award to the Grizzard family. Grizzard passed away in a vehicle accident on May 25 and Paschall said a few words about him before presenting the award to his wife, Jeanine, and daughter, Holly Ferguson, at the banquet.
“It’s been over 20 years since the Weatherford Chamber of Commerce has established a new award of recognition or honor. This evening and moving forward, this award will recognize and honor an individual that’s delivered a focused effort of community service with time and resources beyond all others,” Paschall said. “We all know that Weatherford, Texas is known for its spirit of giving, service and volunteerism, and over the past several decades one individual stands out as a person who volunteered the most, taught the most, mentored the most, lived the most, believed the most, and was the most thoughtful friend a person could ever have.”
Grizzard and Ferguson said they were honored to receive the award.
“Weatherford was a special place to grow up, call home, I’ve never met anyone like my dad, who gave like my dad,” Ferguson said. “Thank you for the ways you’re showing up and remembering us.”
Weatherford Chamber Board of Directors Chairman Matt Ticzkus emceed the banquet and also announced Melanie Allen as the new 2019-20 chair for the chamber.
“A business leader who is drinking from the well of abundance celebrates the fact that there are more than enough customers to go around. I saw other restaurants step up and encourage their patrons to visit and support The Pizza Place when they reopened after losing Roger [Grizzard], abundance mentality. I’m starting to see our cities work together — the mayors of Weatherford, Hudson Oaks and Willow Park collaborating to make Parker County a better place. Weatherford College and our school district WISD are working closely together to offer our students opportunities to pursue higher education in high school and it’s great, abundance mentality,” Ticzkus said. “I’m not saying there aren’t struggles, I’m not saying there aren’t bumps in the road, but I’m seeing a sense of unity and a shared purpose of our community, and it’s incredibly exciting to watch.”