The final award of the evening was Citizen of the Year.
McGill noted that the annual honor is based on public nominations, and is a testament to the individual’s long-lasting impact on the community. Jonas Ray Bontrager was named 2017 Citizen of the Year. Over the years, Bontrager has served as a mentor to countless young men, as well as been involved with prison ministries, and local and international mission work. He consistently gives of his own time and resources to instill life skills with the county’s youth. His efforts focus on teaching young men how to be respectable and responsible stewards in our community. With only a 7th grade education, at the age of 70, Bontrager decided to seek his high school degree, and enrolled in the adult school program. Not only did he receive his GED, but he finished as valedictorian of his class. During that process, he was an inspiration, and continues to be an example of hope for many.
Joanne Roberson presents the Keep Calhoun County Beautiful Grow & Glow Award to CCI Warden Robin Smith.
Claude McGill presents the Heritage Award to Phil McMillan representing Neal Land and Timber Company.
The Calhoun County Chamber of Commerce celebrated its 70th year in business with the annual banquet Monday night at the W.T. Neal Civic Center. Following the delicious meal prepared by Ms. Samantha Taylor and her BHS culinary students a video featuring Howard Johnson, Sr., Alice Nell Leonard, Andrew Ramsey, Roy Golden, Geraldine Sheard and Maxie Waldorff reminded guests of years gone by.