Chamber of Commerce celebrates the county
It was a celebration of the county Tuesday night as the Jasper County Chamber of Commerce held Jasper on the Move and its 58th awards banquet at Turkey Hill Plantation in Ridgeland. The chamber presented nine awards to individuals and businesses. The Lavon Stevens Band performed.
Mary Cope earned the prestigious Sergeant Jasper Award. She enlisted in the Navy in June 1945 through the Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service (W.A.V.E.S) program and served during World War II.
Cope returned to Ridgeland in 1946 and retired from Palmetto Electric in 1991. She worked as a secretary at Great Swamp Baptist Church for eight years and at Holy Trinity Episcopal Church for five years and was a receptionist at the nursing center until she was 90 years old. Cope, 92, is a member of Great Swamp Baptist Church and is actively involved with Operation Christmas Child.
“She lives her life by example,” Jasper County Chamber of Commerce President Marty Sauls said. “She always greats you with a smile and a hug.”
The Outstanding Valor Award was presented to the town of Ridgeland, city of Hardeeville, the county and all emergency personnel and law enforcement for their work during Hurricane Matthew and Hurricane Irma.
“The sacrifice our first-responders and law enforcement officers made during a time of disaster…they ensured safety for our homes and our property,” Sauls said. “We’ve got the finest first-responders and law enforcement personnel you could ask for.”
Hardeeville Fire Chief Steve Camp was named Firefighter of the Year.Camp was hired as a city firefighter in 2005 and was named fire chief in 2015.
He was recognized for updating equipment and growing the department, which operates 30 full-time firefighters that covers 70 square miles. Camp was honored for “dedicating his career to the service of others and providing excellent fire, rescue and emergency medical service to the greater Hardeeville community.”
Britt Fulghum of Cleland Site Prep was named Employee of the Year. She has been a full-time employee for more than 11 years and is known for exceptional performance. She was honored for performing her work with “respect and dignity.”
Fulghum has managed the human resources, accounting and payroll departments and now serves as office manager.
O.C. Welch was honored as Business Person of the Year for being a leading member in the South Carolina and Georgia communities for more than 30 years. Last year he received the Salute to Dealers award by Ford Motor Company. He was recognized for being a leader in the Jasper community for civil service acts and donations.
“I grew up in Savannah, but I’m really proud to have my business in Jasper County,” Welch said. “Of all the places I could have it, this is the right place and I’m happy to be there.”
Febie Knight was named Healthcare Professional of the Year. Born in the Philippines, she moved to the United States in 1991 and to the Lowcountry 17 years ago. Since 2007 she’s owned Ridgeland Physical Therapy & Sports Rehabilitation. Knight was recognized for being “dedicated to her patients and the community.”
Grayco was honored as New Business of the Year.
It was established 50 years ago in South Carolina, and grew to include Ridgeland in 2013. Grayco has building centers in Ridgeland, Bluffton and Beaufort and hardware and home stores in Bluffton and Hilton Head.
Grayco was recognized for “truly having everything you need to build a home from the ground up.”
The Jasper Conservation District and Blue Heron Nature Center, led by Lyn Tindal, was honored as Business Education Partner of the Year.
The Nature Center offers the opportunity to see wildlife and offers classes, seminars and workshops. Tindal has served as executive director for the past three years.
She was lauded for her passion and for being “instrumental in expanding the center's outreach to the schools and citizens.”
Linda Dailey was named winner of the Zenie Ingram Community Service Award.
Dailey, who has been the Gopher Hill Festival committee chairperson for more than five years, was honored for working all year to prepare for the festival that showcases the community and draws thousands of people. Ingram was chairperson of the first festival in 1972. Dailey has been a committee member for more than 25 years and has been chairperson of the pageant for 21 years. She was praised for her passion and hard work.