(ran PC edition)
East Pasco's working community took a break from the business of business Thursday to recognize outstanding achievement, lifetime pursuits and special efforts that make the region run.
The Greater Dade City Chamber of Commerce capped its annual awards banquet at Lake Jovita Golf and Country Club by honoring Dade City Commissioner Lowell Harris with the Lifetime Achievement Award for his contributions to numerous charitable causes and civic activities, including Habitat for Humanity and Rotary.
"I love Dade City. I'm just proud to be part of this community," Harris told the crowd. "I give glory to God who somehow gives me a lot of energy."
There were other major awards as well.
The 4-H Association of Pasco County was named Civic Association of the Year; Dade City's Fire Rescue Department won the Public Service Award.
Bob Case, who helped create the popular monthly classic auto cruise-ins, was named Citizen of the Year, and Pete Odom, for his involvement in many areas including youth sports and city business, won the Business Leader of the Year title.
Small Business of the Year was Hodges Family Funeral Home and Large Business of the Year was Pasco Regional Medical Center.
The executive board for 2002 was installed, with Susan Larkin-Douberley, first vice president; Ralph Cumbee, second vice president; Eunice Penix, treasurer; and Lorrie Glover, secretary.
Charlotte Kiefer, who just completed her first term as chamber president, was named Chamber Member of the Year and was re-elected to the post for another term.
Kiefer said she was proud of the chamber's accomplishments in the past year. The city's name reached across the land with CBS television coverage of the Kumquat Festival leading up to the Super Bowl, and the Economic Development Committee has worked to draw attention for an upgrade to the area's telecommunications infrastructure, she said.
She urged members to continue patronizing local businesses, especially in the ongoing downturn in the economy and said the chamber would continue to spread the word about east Pasco.
"We've really reached out to so many people. We've given out bushels of kumquats one at a time," Kiefer said. "We have a very special place here. I'm just proud of this community. Pasco County is very near and dear to my heart, and I love it."