Mercer chamber presents awards

October 27, 2004|ANN R. HARNEY

HARRODSBURG - Bill Samuels Jr., president and CEO of Makers Mark Distillery, showed those attending the 49th annual banquet of the Mercer Chamber of Commerce his various failed attempts to sell his whiskey.

They were fictional but entertaining as he held up posters of attempts to market Makers Mark.

Most of Samuels' speech was humorous as he lined up the bottles of whiskey made by ancestors and relatives. Samuels' great-, great-, great-, great-, great-grandfather was a distiller of rye whiskey in Pennsylvania.

However, the serious tone of his talk was about Kentucky's need to give a good education to all of its citizens.

"We were the last to urbanize and the last to get serious about education," he told the crowd at the nearly full auditorium at Harrodsburg High School.


Following Samuels' speech, awards and praise were handed out to people in attendance. Chamber President Richard Webb especially praised the chamber's new executive director, Brenda Sexton, who took over the job after Stephanie Rogers resigned.

Rogers was singled out by Webb when he announced that she was the recipient of the 20th annual Harrods Company Award. As Webb explained, the award "goes to an individual who has dedicated herself in benefit to our community."

Veteran educator Janice Yeast was given the 15th Annual Jane Coomes Education Award. Dana Anderson, in announcing the award, said Yeast has been in education for more than 30 years. Yeast retired from public school teaching and began a daycare and preschool. She currently teaches at Central Kentucky Christian School.

Sue Abrams was the recipient of the second annual Charles McGinnis Good Citizen Award presented by Gayle Horn and Troy McGinnis. The award is named for the late Mercer County judge-executive.

Josh and Joni Horn were introduced as the recipients of the Mercer Farm Bureau Outstanding Young Farmer Award. They received the award at a Farm Bureau event earlier this year.

Wassau Paper Co., formerly Bay West Paper Co., received the Industry Award, and Corning was the winner of the Beautification Award. Neila Monroe and Robbie Atkinson presented the 2004 chamber's Youth Leadership Class.

Bob Martin was master of ceremonies, a job he has fulfilled for many years. The dinner was catered by Five Ds Restaurant.|5/4/04|***

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