Other awards presented by the chamber included Mel Small, the Humanitarian award; Merle Cross, the Unsung Hero; Cara Hume, Educator of the Year; and the Upshur County Shares Food Pantry, the “Top Hand Award.”
Former Smith County Sheriff J.B. Smith was the speaker for the event at the Gilmer Civic Center.
The Rev. Jones, a Gilmer businessman, Baptist minister, and retired 22-year U.S. Navy veteran, was cited for his “dedication and service to the citizens of Gilmer and the surrounding areas since 1975.” He was honored for assisting people with their utility bills, rent, groceries and transportation and for visiting people in hospitals and nursing homes.
Mrs. Cross was honored for “countless good deeds” and supporting “wholesome civic endeavors.”
Ms. Hume, an English language arts and pre-AP English II teacher at Gilmer High School, was diagnosed in her sophomore year of high school with an autoimmune disease that weakened her muscles, making speech difficult. When she began teaching at Gilmer High School, the chamber said, “She (was) determined to love every child who walked through her door” and now sponsors a group of girls called “Worth the Wait.”
Ms. Hume also has been recognized as Gilmer High School Teacher of the Year and Secondary Teacher of the Year for Gilmer ISD for 2013-14.