By MIRANDA BAINES
THE DAILY SOUTHERNER
“We appreciate every minute that you serve this county and this town.”
That’s what Jimmie Hughes, immediate past chairman of the Tarboro Edgecombe Chamber of Commerce, told recipients of Distinguished Service Awards at Thursday’s chamber meeting and awards presentation in Keihin Auditorium.
Awards in four categories: Emergency Medical Service, Firefighter and Law Enforcement Officer of the Year and Young Educator of the Year. A total of 18 people were nominated for the awards.
Chad Eason of the Edgecombe County Rescue Squad, the only nominee, was named Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Personnel of the Year.
“Chad works as a paramedic and was the interim chief of the department from July 2012 to November 2012. During that time he was able to successfully expand this department and start operations in the West Edgecombe area,” wrote Chief Allen Dennie, president of the Edgecombe County Fire/ Rescue Association, in his nomination of Eason. “He was been a great and vital part to the department and this county.”
Lynn Adcock was named firefighter of the year.
“We have been very, very fortunate to have this gentleman,” said Butch Beach, director of Edgecombe County Emergency Services, who presented the EMS and firefighter awards.
Adcock joined the West Edgecombe Volunteer Fire Department in March 2005 and has previously served in the Lewis Community, Heartsease and Sharpsburg volunteer fire departments, as a lieutenant, captain, and assistant chief.
Finalists for the award were Chris Andrews of the Conetoe Volunteer Fire Department and Stan Smith of the South Edgecombe Volunteer Fire Department.
Cpl. Michael Trevathan, a member of the Tarboro Police Department, won the award for law enforcement . Trevathan is a canine handler and has been with the department for nine years.
“I feel very privileged and honored,” said Trevathan after receiving his award. He mentioned that all of the law enforcement officer nominees are “great guys” worthy of the award.
“All of them deserve it,” Trevathan said.
Sheriff James Knight echoed Trevathan’s thoughts.
“They greatly deserve it,” he said.
Finalists in that category were Jason Dawes of the Edgecombe County Sheriff’s Office and Bryan Corey, also of the sheriff’s office.
The Young Educator of the Year award went to Sarah Cavanaugh, a fourth-grade teacher at Coker-Wimberly Elementary School.
“She constantly talks to her students about making positive choices in their life,” said retired educator Susan Hughes, of Cavanaugh. She also said Cavanaugh has “very positive relationships” with her students, colleagues and community members and regularly contacts parents to share positive feedback about their children’s education.
Finalists for the award were Rachel Newbern, of South Edgecombe Middle School and Brook Sykes, from West Edgecombe Middle School .
Award recipients and finalists all received engraved awards, while nominees received certificates.
During the business meeting, chamber chairman Keith Jordan discussed the vision for the Chamber, which is celebrating its 80th anniversary.
“Our basic mission is to promote the business community and to promote the prosperity of all the citizens of the population of the county,” Jordan said. He discussed the Chamber’s role as a driving force to “improve the quality of life” of citizens, reduce the high unemployment rate and number of people living at the poverty level.
Jordan also recognized incoming board members – Jon Anderson of BB&T, Donna Dew of Century 21, Connie Hunt of Keihin Carolina System Technology and Joyce Turner of the Edgecombe County Cultural Arts Council.
Jimmie Hughes recognized outgoing board members – Charles Ainsley of Ainsley Construction, Marlou Coker of Providence Bank, and Brandon Manseur of Doug Henry Ford.