Holcomb honored as town’s Good Citizen

Published 7:00 pm Tuesday, February 7, 2012

He called it a “surprise,” he called it”unexpected” and he called it an “honor”; everyone else called it”deserving.”

    The Wesson Chamber of Commerce named George Holcomb as its GoodCitizen of the Year Monday night at the chamber’s annual banquet.Other leadership and citizenship awards were given and thechamber’s 2012 leadership was introduced, including a second yearas president for Stephen Ashley.

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    Holcomb could barely walk out of the room after the banquet for allthe congratulations he received.

    “No one more deserving” was a common sentiment as friends andneighbors praised Holcomb.

    “I found out yesterday,” Holcomb said of the award. “It was asurprise.”

    Holcomb remains a highly visible figure around town. He works forthe city maintaining buildings and grounds, so he stays outsidemowing grass, picking up trash and other maintenance duties.

    “I keep the town looking good,” Holcomb said.

    Holcomb’s service to Wesson doesn’t end when the workday does,though.

    For 12 years he has worked with the Wesson Volunteer FireDepartment. A personal experience led to his involvement.

    A neighbor’s house caught fire and endangered his own house,Holcomb explained. He decided after that to do his part to helpothers avoid what almost happened to him.

    He doesn’t feel he has much of a choice but to stay active.

    “I can’t stay still,” Holcomb said. “I’ve always got to be doingsomething.”

    Other award winners included Albert Hennington, who was namedWesson’s Ageless Hero. Freddie Bessonette took home the CommunityService Award.

    Rickey Clopton received the Male Leadership Award and Jean Ricksthe Female Leadership Award.

    Copiah County Sheriff Harold Jones was honored as the PublicServant of the Year.

    The chamber named API Technology the Corporate Business of the Yearand the Wesson Baptist Church Preschool its Business of theYear.

    The chamber also introduced its 2012 officers and directors. Inaddition to Ashley as chamber president, Marilyn Britt will be vicepresident and Melissa Meredith secretary and treasurer.

    The board’s 2012 directors will be Beverly King, Jeff Knight, ScottJerome, Brad Turner and Brian King.

    2011’s outgoing directors were also honored: Ken Sullivan, TracyAdcock, Jodi Parker and Beverly King.

    Ashley said he has “enjoyed” his time as chamber president andfeels ready to serve another year. Ashley is excited about some newthings the chamber has in store for 2012

    “Some of it is about doing new things to bring in new people,”Ashley said. “But some of the things are going back to the way theoriginal events worked.”

    Ashley highlighted Founders Day as an event to receive some newattention this year.

    Ashley also remarked on the success of the chamber’s activities in2011 and on the chamber’s efforts to be more visible. Four ribboncuttings were among the 2011 activities.

    “That may not sound like a lot,” Ashley said. “But for Wesson,that’s a big deal.”

    He also touted the chamber’s 2011 quarterly meetings, whichincluded speakers such as Commissioner of Agriculture CindyHyde-Smith, then a candidate for the office.

    He also discussed the Wesson Haunted House, which entered itssecond year in 2011 and has proved to be very popular. The chamberis already planning for Halloween in 2012.

    “This year we’re planning to go back to the old school and it’sgoing to be bigger and better than ever,” Ashley said.

    The evening’s featured speaker was George Dale, former Mississippicommissioner of insurance. Dale was served in the office for 32years until 2007.

    His humorous presentation focused on the odd place and people ofMississippi and he ended with words of praise for the evening’shost city.

    “It is evident that while many Mississippi towns are struggling,Wesson is holding its own,” Dale said.