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Wesson honors service

Wesson officials and community leaders gathered Tuesday evening to celebrate the successes of the past year and highlight some of the town’s special people.

     “We made some difference, and that’s what it’s about,” said outgoing Wesson Chamber of Commerce President Stephen Ashley, reflecting on the past year.

     During Tuesday’s banquet, Margaret Furr was honored as Wesson’s Ageless Hero.

     “She’s wonderful,” said Beverly King, who presented the award to Furr.

     Furr worked as a teacher’s assistant for 17 years at Wesson Attendance Center and has, for the past 25 years, been a substitute teacher at the school.

     “I’m usually over there all week,” Furr said.

     King confirmed that Furr’s a sought-after substitute teacher.

     “She really teaches,” King said. “You don’t call anyone if you haven’t called her first.”

     What’s kept her going back to the school throughout retirement?

     “I love children,” Furr said.

     She’s the wife of Kenneth Furr, of Wesson Flea Market fame and himself a former recipient of the Ageless Hero award.

     The chamber also handed out a bevy of other honors Tuesday.

     Ken Carraway received the Public Servant award. Ashley highlighted Carraway’s service to the Wesson Volunteer Fire Department and a local Boy Scout troop.

     Carraway moved to Wesson in 2001 and joined the fire department in 2003. He was promoted to chief of the department January 2011.

     “He leads a team over there that is, in my opinion, top notch,” Ashley said.

     He’s served as the scout master of Wesson’s Troop 125 since 2010.

     The Wesson Lions Club snagged the Community Service award, with the club’s president Ric Crockett accepting the award on behalf of the club.

     Presenter Scott Jerome noted the club’s presence in the community. The Lions support the Wesson Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts, the Girl Scouts, the Wesson Cemetery, the town library and area youth baseball.

     The Lions club has been around in Wesson for 72 years.

     The Leadership award went to the Copiah-Lincoln Lady Wolves head basketball coach Gwyn Young. He’s coached the team 36 years and served as the college’s athletic director since 1989.

     While presenting the award, Jerome highlighted Young’s approximately 800 career wins. He’s the winningest women’s coach in the Mississippi Association of Community/Junior Colleges.

     The basketball court in Co-Lin’s Mullen Gymnasium was named after Young in 2011.

     The Co-Lin Educator of the Year award went to Bruce Irvin, coordinator of the school’s welding program.

     “He’s been a great educator to so many young men,” said Dr. Gail Baldwin, dean of Career, Technical and Workforce Education at Co-Lin.

     Baldwin said the school continues to receive notes and letters from former students explaining how Irvin influenced their lives.

     Geraldine Peyson won the Wesson Attendance Center Educator of the Year award.

     A 26-year teacher, 19 years of her career have been spent at Wesson Attendance Center. She’s the senior sponsor and yearbook sponsor.

     The chamber also took care of a little housekeeping, announcing next year’s officers.

     After three years as chamber president, Ashley will be stepping down, with Marilyn Britt rising from the vice president slot and assuming the post of 2013 chamber president.

     Paige Anderson will serve as the 2013 chamber vice president, and Melissa Meredith as secretary/treasurer.

     Chamber leaders also announced that, during 2013, chamber membership fees and dues will be suspended.

     “We’re trying to grow this chamber,” Ashley said. “We want the chamber to act as a liaison between the businesses, the community and the town.”