Chamber Awards honor Blackwell locals and businesses

by Charles Gerian

The Blackwell Event Center was draped in black curtains as the nicely dressed men and women of Blackwell populated the Fairgrounds’ venue to honor Blackwell businesses and individuals for the Blackwell Area Chamber of Commerce’s Awards Banquet last Thursday night.

The event began with a reception at RCB Bank on Doolin before the Awards Ceremony started at 6:30 p.m.

THe night began with a welcome by Emily Shields followed by an invocation from Harlie May and the National Anthem sung by Nick Maples.

The first award of the night was the Citizen of the Year Award, presented by last year’s recipient Melissa Hudson.

Blackwell Mayor Pat Hullet was named Citizen of the Year and accepted the award with an emotional thanks to all of those who have supported her.

The I Am Blackwell Award, presented by Greg Sixkiller, went to Billie DeBoard.

The Volunteer of the Year Award was presented by Stacie Grossardt to Nellie Jack with the Blackwell House of Prayer.

The Chamber Director of the Year Award was presented by Chamber of Commerce Coordinator Noel Black to City of Blackwell’s City Clerk Traci Hanebrink who was also recognized by Journal-Tribune readers as City Employee of the Year in the 2023 Best of Kay County readers' choice awards.

Next, Business of the Year went to Shepherd Oil.

The final award of the night was the Maroon Pride Award, presented by George Becker, which was shared with Max Smyth and Blackwell High School Principal Gerry Magin.

The event’s meal was catered by Keystone Catering Services with a cash bar being facilitated by the Blackwell Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2855. The night was sponsored by Bluepeak Fiber Internet, Stillwater Medical, Kay Electric, The City of Blackwell, Stride Bank, RCB Bank, CFM Foundry, BancFirst, Southwest Cupid, Blackwell Dentistry, and Rock & Brews Casino Braman.