Linda Baynes was worried when I sat down last night at the banquet table shared with her husband, Bill, as well as Lyle Asell and Ray Meyer, at Carpenters Hall.
A man had been standing for some time in the Court Avenue block just east of the hall, holding up a sign asking for help with gas money, and still was there when the annual meeting of Chariton Area Chamber/Main Street began.
"I only had $7.50 on me," Linda said, "but couldn't figure out how to stop in traffic and give it to him. If he's still there when we're done here --- I will."
Linda retires June 30 after 22 years as director of Volunteer Services at Lucas County Health Center --- a position that involves coordinating the time and activities of hundreds of volunteers who assist others through dozens and dozens of county non-profits. She also is a notable volunteer herself, likely to show up to lend a helping hand almost anywhere.
Her years of service on the job and as a volunteer --- and that giving attitude --- were among the reasons why Chamber/Main Street a little later last evening awarded Linda what probably is its highest honor, the Lifetime Achievement Award. If was fun to be there to watch Linda's face as the award was announced.
Other top awards presented early in the evening went to Brad Krutsinger, Humanitarian of the Year for his leadership role in development of Hope Learning Center; Citizen of the Year, Jamie Wilson for his community commitment; Volunteer of the Year, Jena Wiley; All in the Family Award, the John and Cindy Hamilton family; Best-Kept-Secret Award, Interiors & More; and Pillar of the Community Award, Johnson Machine Works.
In addition, four employees of Chariton firms were singled out for special recognition --- Brenda Mullen, second in command at Family Shoe; Ann Moon, pharmacy manager at Lucas County Health Center; Kellie Querrey, Chariton Vision Center; and Lisa Wood, accountant at Johnson Machine Works.
Many other awards were announced during the program --- for community commitment and industry achievement --- and I'm sure the Chariton newspapers will report on those. Perhaps Chamber/Main Street will post the list on its Web site, too.
The Design Division, where I serve, presented "Good Brick Awards" to building owners who made substantial investments in improving their properties during the year.
Finally, it was time for the Chamber's Employee of the Year Award --- and that went to Ann Moon, Health Center pharmacy manager, not only for her professional and administrative skills but also for her commitment to patients and to improving overall operations of the hospital and its clinics.
Ann also serves on the Lucas County Historical Society board, so several of us on that board were glad we'd decided to postpone our regular June meeting a week in order to be present Tuesday evening to watch Ann receive dual honors.