POINT PLEASANT — The 73rd annual Mason County Area Chamber of Commerce Dinner and Awards Banquet honored the best in business and community service on Thursday evening.
Emceeing the event was Chamber President Mario Liberatore with assistance from Chamber Director Hilda Austin. The awards portion of the program included the First Impression Awards and Community Service Award.
The prestigious Community Service Award goes to the person or organization who/which has served on many committees, volunteering tirelessly to help others and who/which is committed to improving living conditions for many families in this area. This year’s award was presented to the Point Pleasant Rotary Club.
The Point Pleasant Rotary Club was formed in 1924 and has been in existence for 95 years. The club raises money and distributes it back into the community through four major fundraising efforts listed below.
Since 1979, the Point Pleasant rotary club has organized a golf tournament. Funds raised with this event are used to provide scholarships to Point Pleasant Seniors. This year makes 40th year for the scholarship. During this time over $160,000 has been awarded to deserving students. In addition to the scholarships, Rotary gives a $100 good citizenship award annually to a deserving student, selected by the Point Pleasant High School faculty.
The club operates an ice cream booth at the Mason County Fair. The funds raised during fair week are distributed throughout the county. The club has utilized these funds in the past to support many organizations and projects including: The Point Pleasant Junior Senior High School Sports Complex, The Riverfront Park, Point Pleasant Splash Pad, Point Pleasant Baseball Facilities, Boy Scouts of America, Mason County 4H, and various youth sporting activities throughout the county. Additionally, the club has sponsored many students attending the Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership seminar, Youth Leadership Association attendees and students attending the Rotary Youth Leadership conference each year.
During the Christmas holidays you most likely have seen a Rotarian ringing a bell and collecting donations. 100 percent of the funds raised during these Saturday’s are distributed to the Point Pleasant Fire Department food baskets and the Mason County Toys for Kids program.
Each year the club holds an auction at their annual Christmas dinner. Club members donate and bid on items. The proceeds are donated to an organization or project selected by the club. Past recipients of these funds include: Mason County Schools Strings Program, Krodel Park Playground, Mason County Drug Court, Pleasant Valley Hospital Bright Beginnings Program and the Mason County Homeless Shelter.
Since 2013, the Point Pleasant Rotary has organized the annual Mason County Law Enforcement Appreciation Dinner. The purpose of the event is to better educate the public about the dedication and hard work of Mason County’s local law enforcement officers and to show support and appreciation to the officers for protecting the community.
Additionally, each year the Point Pleasant Rotary club distributes dictionaries to every third grader in Mason County.
Most recently, the club has partnered with the Mason County Homeless shelter to support and assists in their efforts to build a new shelter to serve those in need on Mason and surrounding counties.
Point Pleasant Mayor Brian Billings presented introductions for the First Impression Awards which were as follows:
Most Attractive New Sign – Ohio Valley Bank.
Ohio Valley Bank’s new marquee design was completed in the summer of 2018 and the Point Pleasant sign erected in the fall of 2018. Standing 16 feet tall and 12 feet wide, this custom design features both modern and traditional elements representing OVB’s enduring commitment to the community coupled with its modern welcoming design.
Best Community Project – Point Pleasant Walking Trail at Krodel Park.
A mile-long trail at Krodel Park had fallen into a state of disrepair with some sections covered by water and many broken places in the walk becoming dangerous. Citizens of the community were approached about upgrading and improving this walking space. Grants were applied for under the Department of Transportation as well as later in the project The Claflin Foundation. The process was a rather lengthy one. However, a wellness committee composed of Robert Rulen, Darlene Haer, Becky Wood, Kenny Boyles, Ron Durst, Diana Riddle and Roger McKinney began this lengthy task in 2014 and was fortunate to see the project grow and develop with the dedication being held in June 2018. Since then, a gazebo has been added to the project with the aid of the Claflin Foundation. Future plans include exercise stations, landscaping and a picnic area. The total cost of the project to date has been $359,456.
Outstanding Revitalization – Premier Storage Solutions, LLC.
Kevin and Adam Childers purchased the property located at 2619 Jackson Avenue in the fall of 2017 with plans of opening a 100 unit, indoor/climate controlled self-storage facility. This 15,000 square foot building would require an extensive interior and exterior renovation in which construction began in January 2018. This climate controlled self-storage facility offers secure 24-hour access with digital access code locks on the front entrance doors as well as high resolution security cameras monitoring the interior and exterior of the building. While working on this facility, Kevin and Adam purchased the neighboring lot and commercial building (formerly the Carpenters Union Hall at 2709 Jackson Avenue) as well as a commercial building located on Mossman Avenue. Each of these properties will also undergo complete renovations in the upcoming years.
Best New Commercial Development – Crusader Firearms.
In January of this year, Dr. Earnest Trent opened Crusader Firearms at 21278 Ohio River Road, Mason. After moving his dental practice into a new facility, he was left with an empty building. Along with his extensive knowledge and love of firearms, putting a gun store in the old dental office was a “win win” situation. They offer a wide variety of guns, ammo and accessories.
Best Development – State Road Garage.
Construction started with ground work in August 2017 and completion of the building was in October 2018. Staff moved into their new offices in February 18, 2019. Total cost was $5.4 million dollars with a garage with four bays for a total square footage of 7,425 and office space with 5,850 square feet. The salt shed has a capacity of 1,000 tons; the cold patch shed has a capacity of 200 tons. There are 43 employees. The facility has 3 road graders, 2 backhoes, 4 tandem axle trucks, 7 single axled trucks and 3 ton trucks.
Young Entrepreneur 2018 – Kelsi Boyd.
Boyd started her own line of self care products under the Silver Market Co. label, followed by opening a small business, Counter Point Cooperative on Main Street in Point Pleasant along with Ashley Wamsley and Marqkita Sexton. Boyd also works on renovating existing homes. She focuses on sustainability and using natural ingredients in her work and product line.
Also recognized, Leigh Ann Shepard with the Past President Award.
The dinner was held at the First Church of God and catered by the First Church of God Kitchen Ministry Ladies. Farmers Bank provided the reception and Paul Doeffinger entertained guests with music. Also, Roy Hay provided audio/visual elements for the dinner.
Beth Sergent contributed to this article.