Gilmer Area Chamber of Commerce names its 'Outstanding Citizen' for 2013

Published on Thursday, 13 February 2014 23:02 - Written by Phillip Williams Special Correspondent

GILMER — Ruby N. Allen was named the Gilmer Area Chamber of Commerce’s “Outstanding Citizen” for 2013 at the chamber’s 2014 banquet Thursday night.

Other award recipients at the gathering, held at the Gilmer Civic Center, included women of the First Baptist Church’s jail ministry, who received the “Humanitarian” award; Taylor Miller, “Educator of the Year;” Ike Fluellen, the “Top Hand” award; and volunteers of the Upshur County Hospital Auxiliary, the “Unsung Hero” award.

Charlie Cano, general manager and chief executive officer of Gilmer-based Etex Telephone Cooperative, was banquet speaker.

Mrs. Allen was cited for her work with young people, including her “goal of improving students’ reading” by enhancing local “cultural opportunities;” supporting school board members’ and educators’ efforts to raise children’s self-esteem; and recruiting many teenage volunteers to serve in nursing and convalescent homes.

She also was honored for being a member of Zion Hill Baptist Church who helps serve food to families in need “behind the scenes.”

The eight women in the 12-year-old First Baptist jail ministry were cited for taking turns teaching the Bible on Monday afternoons to female inmates in the Upshur County Jail.

Ms. Miller, an English teacher in New Diana ISD, was cited for sponsoring her school’s Student Council, leading pupils in service projects for the community and in fun activities for them, and sponsoring “theme days for school spirit and morale.”

Fluellen was honored for his work not only on the chamber board and East Texas Yamboree board, but for his volunteer work for those organizations before he was elected to their boards.

The 24-member hospital auxiliary was cited for averaging more than 4,800 hours of volunteer service annually in such activities as handling tasks for patients and visitors, making blankets in the emergency room, assisting with the county’s annual health fair, and raising money for scholarships for local youth planning to enter the medical field.