Venie Payne wins Trussville Gatekeeper award
By Gary Lloyd
Venie Payne won the individual Gatekeeper award for her service to the city of Trussville, it was announced last week.
Payne served on the original Trussville Historical Society, the Trussville Historical Board in late 2006 and was instrumental in forming the new Trussville Historical Society in 2007.
Payne led the Trussville Historical Board in developing a memorial in Trussville’s Civitan Park to honor all veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces. Her late husband, H.B. Payne, served in World War II as a sergeant in the 276th Combat Engineers in the European Theater of War. He was wounded in combat on the Bridge at Remagen and was discharged in 1945. He later received the Presidential Unit Citation and a Purple Heart. The names are being added to the monument, which is awaiting a formal dedication as soon as the greenways project is completed. Payne is also president of the Daughters of the Confederacy.
Pastor Buddy Champion and First Baptist Church Trussville won the group Gatekeeper award. Champion has been the church’s pastor for six years and wants the church involved in community events.
“We want to be the hands and feet of God in this community,” Champion said when he started as pastor at the church.
Nominations for the awards are accepted from the community, and a committee comprised of the three previous years’ recipients in each category makes the final selections.
Deana Carroll of Trussville Total Care Pharmacy won the fourth annual Customer Service Person of the Year Award. The Trussville Area Chamber of Commerce’s first-ever Chamber Ambassador of the Year award went to Robin Wilkins. The inaugural group of ambassadors includes Wilkins, John Edge, Randy Jinks, Patricia McKnight and Brooke Morris.
“Our chamber ambassadors have been phenomenal in assisting with chamber events, recruiting new members and in general have been wonderful representatives for the chamber,” said chamber Executive Director Diane Poole. “I can’t begin to say how much I appreciate this group. God blessed us with them about a month before Dog Daze, and we really needed them at that time.”
The Kool Kats, a musical group made up of church elders, deacons, church pastor and music ministry leader from Argo Christian Fellowship, performed. They sing as a fundraiser for the building fund for their church, and 100 percent of what they make goes into the fund. The group has raised about $25,000 to build their new church.
Jefferson County Commissioner Joe Knight inducted the chamber’s 2013 officers. They include president Eddie Seal, president-elect June Mathews, treasurer Shea Carroll, past president Lance Pate, Lisa Brenner, Sarah Johnson, Melissa Jones, McKnight, Pat McTamney, Phillip Nelson, Zack Steele and Massey Willingham.
Contact Gary Lloyd at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @GaryALloyd.