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Doucet Citizen of the Year

By Staff, 04/26/17 10:58 AM


PRESCOTT – Lauren Doucet was named Citizen of the Year at the annual Prescott-Nevada County Chamber of Commerce Banquet Tuesday night.

It was a night for recognizing the accomplishments of individuals and groups in the community, from Citizen of the Year, to Student of the Year, and from Business Leader of the Year to Educator of the Year.

Brad Crain, emcee, said this honor is for recognizing those people who bear more than their weight and go above and beyond for the community. The recipient, he said, moved to Prescott five years ago and is a nurturing soul. She’s on the board of the Prescott-Nevada County Economic Development Office, works with the Prescott Booster Club where she’s organized fundraisers, has shopped for the Chamber’s Christmas program and volunteers at Prescott High School.

“I’m at a loss for words,” she said. Doucet thanked everyone for welcoming her to Prescott, saying it feels like home.

The Treasure of Gold award went to Frank Henson. Henson, it was said, has been a role model in the community for years. He grew up on a farm, served in the Army and Army Reserve, worked in the education system for 38 years, has been in the ministry for 42 years and married for 42 years with three children and two grandchildren. He currently works with the local Food Share.

“I’m humbled by this,” Henson said. “Thank you for the award.”

Pete DeWoody was named this year’s Hometown Hero. DeWoody, Crain said, always has a smile and is always willing to help. He spent more than 20 years in the Arkansas National Guard, seeing active duty in Desert Storm and Operation Iraqi Freedom. He’s active in the community, is a craftsman, an avid outdoorsman and operated a business for 33 years. He and his wife are active in the Chamber and he helped raise money to purchase Elkins Ferry.

“I’m honored, thanks,” he said.

The awards began with recognition of the 2016 Farm Family of the Year, Steve and Renee Boeckman.

Next up was the Business Leader, which went to Hillcrest Care and Rehab. The nursing home has been operating in Prescott for 50 years and has more than 125 employees. It began with 60 beds and has expanded to 90.

Owner Eddie Arnold said his family has had a long relationship with Prescott and Hillcrest’s employees are some of the best in Arkansas. “We have a lot to be thankful for,” he said, “and we’re bullish on Prescott.”

Nevada School District Principal Michael Odom presented Student and Educator of the year for that district. Student of the Year went to Patrick Jackson, while Teresa Blake was named Educator of the Year.

Missy Walley presented the Prescott School District’s Student of the Year award to Diana Aguirre, who has accepted a scholarship to Columbia University.

Robert Poole, superintendent of the PSD, presented Kim Hale the Educator of the Year honor, saying he couldn’t believe she hadn’t won the award before. “I’m overwhelmed,” she said. “This is a great district with great people, great teachers and great kids. I’m lucky each day to get to see their little faces filled with promise and be able to help them. It’s the most rewarding thing in the world.

Darren Neal, county agent, presented Organization of the Year to the Nevada County Master Gardeners. He told of the work the gardeners do around the community, adding the group raises a lot of the money it gets on its own. The value of such organizations, he continued, is based on their volunteer hours. In 2016, the Nevada County Master Gardeners donated 1,692 hours valued at $39,149 in labor.

State Sen. Bruce Maloch was the featured speaker. He joked about the shotgun donated by Nevada County Sheriff Danny Martin that was auctioned off and won by Poole, saying before this year’s legislative session it would have been illegal to have the weapon on campus, but now you can have guns just about anywhere.

He said there is good and bad in all professions, but there are three points people need to remember in order to succeed. First is to always look for the good in things. He talked about how Nevada County was founded, the high population for Prescott and the county, reminding people part of the reason for the loss of population was the mechanization in the agriculture and timber industries. Second, he said, is to be proud of being from Prescott, Nevada County and South Arkansas. Third, he concluded, is to plant the seeds of success, and in doing the planting, make sure the seeds are being placed in fertile soil so they’ll yield a harvest.

It’s all about working together, focusing on the positive and taking pride in your community, Maloch said.

He ended by presenting a grant check to Mary Godwin, executive director of the Prescott-Nevada County Economic Development Office, for $50,000 to go toward purchasing the Prairie D’Ane Battlefield. He and State Sen. Larry Teague worked to obtain the grant.

The live auction raised $2,085.


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