Currie, Kimbrough take Chamber awards

A guest appearance by Elvis, special recognitions and tall tales of cowhand antics kept guests entertained at Monday’s annual Chamber of Commerce Banquet at the Heart of Texas Civic Center. Recognizing individual citizens for their selfless acts has become a tradition in Brady at the annual banquet. This year was no exception as several individuals and businesses were presented with honors by being selected as recipients of this year’s annual awards. Following some lively stories by guest speaker Dennis Gaines, Rochelle’s Aleta Kimbrough and Brady’s Gilbert Currie took top honors by being selected as this year’s Citizen of the Year and Lifetime Achievement Award recipients. A constant staple in volunteer and charitable activities throughout the community, Mrs. Kimbrough joins a long list of distinguished individuals by being named Citizen of the Year. The award is given each year to a deserving individual who is nominated by a community member via written ballot. A woman who is always on the giving side of a helping hand, she can often be found at the Helping Hands Center or anywhere else where volunteer work is needed. In addition to the Helping Hands Center, she has been actively involved with numerous organizations and committees including Relay for Life, Toys for Tots, United Way and the McCulloch County Child Welfare Board. Longtime Brady resident Gilbert Currie, most widely known for his 25 years of service as “chief goat cooker” for the annual World Championship Barbeque Goat Cook-Off, was named as this year’s recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award. Presented in an emotional introduction by his two daughters Sarah and Stacy, the award was graciously accepted by Currie as he held his daughters in his arms and spoke of his fondness for Brady and McCulloch County. “I love Brady,” said Currie. “This is what it is all about. One thing we have to remember is that we need to stick together and support one another.” Among the volunteering he has done, Currie has spent countless hours devoting time, money and effort to collecting food and clothing and distributing it to less fortunate people in and around Brady, South Texas and Mexico through His Hands Missions, a mission group he helped found. He has been a faithful employee of the Brady Independent School District for 16 years and has served as a HOSTS mentor for several years in an effort to encourage local children. The Business of the Year Award was presented to Higginbotham Brothers. Under the direction of manager Tim Owens, assistant manager Trudi Bannister and area manager Monte Owens, the store has been actively involved in promoting Brady and the major events which occur in and around McCulloch County. “This award would not have been possible without the employees we have,” said Tim Owens. McCulloch County Deputy Sheriff Kenneth Poe was also recognized by the chamber for his efforts above and beyond the call of duty with his position within the offender services program. Other awards presented Monday night were the President’s Award which went to the City of Brady’s employees for its efforts to promote the city and the area and for working tirelessly on everything from the cook-off to Christmas decorations. Cowboy humorist Dennis Gaines kept the crowd laughing Outgoing chamber director Becky Cortez was also honored by being named the director of the year by Poe. “She is always there, whether she was asked to work or not, cheering us on and lending a hand,” said Mrs, Poe. The usual changing of the guard on the board of directors of the Chamber accompanied the awards Monday night. Outgoing president Orlando Rubio stepped down and welcomed in next year’s president Dae Locklear. Accompanying him as officers will be vice president Britt Mynatt and treasurer Liz Allen. “I want to thank each and every business here in Brady,” said Chamber Executive Vice President DeLaine Poe. “As the saying goes, you all are the wind beneath our wings. Without you, this would not be possible.”

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