The feel of relaxing at the ocean was enjoyed by all who attended the “Evening at the Beach” themed Jourdanton Chamber of Commerce Awards Banquet. The banquet was held last Tuesday, August 19 at the Jourdanton Community Center.
Rhonda Lem gave the welcome and introduction of dignitaries. Drinks and a meal of fish or chicken was offered along with an hors d’oeuvres bar.
After the invocation and dinner came the awards, with the evening finishing with the introduction of chamber officers and directors.
Jourdanton Chamber of Commerce officers are: President-Jim Andrus; Vice President-Susan Netardus; Secretary-Joyce Steinle and Treasurer Annie DeLaO. Jourdanton Chamber of Commerce Directors are: Jane Andrus, Marcella Dornak, Jack Harrison, Jeanettte Harrison, Michelle Higginbotham, Rhonda Lem, Dorothy Manning, Henry Netardus, Lois Newman, Larry Pryor, Marty Pryor, Karen Rakowitz, Bill Schuchman, Katie Schuchma and Sandy Steinle.
Social hour was sponsored by The Other Shot Glass and Lewis and Rhonda Lem.
This year the Chamber awarded two ties, Woman of the Year and Teenager of the Year.
Senior Citizen of the Year Jack R. Harrison Sponsored by Jourdanton Chamber of Commerce
Jack Russell Harrison was born on Mother’s Day, May 12, 1935, in Waco. He graduated from Poteet High School in 1953. In 1955, he married Jeanette Kaiser and they have two children.
Jack retired about 19 years ago, but he didn’t slow down.
He is a member of the Jourdanton United Methodist Church and has been involved with many positions on the church board including serving on the Board of Trustees.
Jack is a very active Chamber of Commerce director. He works very hard on the Annual BBQ and Auction and the Santa Claus Event.
He has served on the American Pride, 4th of July event committee for several years. This year he served as the Chairman of the committee, where he is in charge of coordinating the entire event and helping raise money to pay for the event.
Jack is serving on the Swimming Pool Committee that is working to get a new pool for the community.
He is currently serving as President of the Jourdanton Rotary.
Jack is a great supporter of the Jourdanton Library and helps out with the fund raising for the library.
We don’t always think of Jack as a Senior Citizen so we had to check the number of years that he has graced this world with his presence and sure enough he qualifies! He is hard working and dedicated and we are lucky to have him in our community.
2014 Young Person of the Year Vance Jupe Sponsored by Jourdanton Rotary
Born and raised in Jourdanton, this person is a man of outstanding character and conviction. He has devoted his life to the Christian message, the betterment of his fellow man and a stellar devotion to our community. Vance Jupe is a man of many accomplishments, both personal and professional. He is a highly rated and respected construction engineer, and a driving force in the success of his family owned Jupe Company business.
Married to his beautiful childhood sweetheart, Jodie, they unhesitatingly and unselfishly share the responsibilities of raising 3 gorgeous and bright daughters, Jadyn 8, Maebry 6, and Kinnedy 2.
Vance has been very active in youth sports and enjoys coaching kiddie soccer, T-ball, and softball. He is a member of the little league soccer Board of Directors and is visible in the management, planning and execution of athletic development programs.
He is a strong supporter of all youth activities and is present at many of the recitals, dances and physical exercises that build the character of our children, in both the physical and mental aspects of child development. He is also involved in many community fund raising and charity projects.
Vance is active in the Church and presently is the Chairman of the Trustee Committee of the Jourdanton Methodist Church. He has devoted and donated many hours and services to his church.
He is also an outreach person, assisting those in need and often times from his own pocket.
Vance has recently been appointed to the Board of Directors for the JISD. A strong believer in the value of a good education, Vance will aggressively push agendas and programs that benefit the children of the JISD. As a statement of his commitment, Vance is a frequent presence at all of the JISD functions.
Vance Jupe is a role model for youth and America; hard working, honest, friendly, committed, and willing to make personal sacrifices for the betterment of others. Vance Jupe is not an “I” person.
Vance Jupe; you are a credit to your family, and all the Jupe’s both here and beyond smile on you. You make all of us proud to know you and call you friend.
Man of the Year Mike Harrison Sponsored by American Legion
Mike Harrison is a long time Jourdanton resident. He is married to Chrissy Wagner Harrison and they have two children.
Mike has been an active member of the Jourdanton United Methodist Church for the past thirty plus years. During that time, he has served on many committees.
Mike has also been a director for McCoy Water Supply and has run the “Chain Gang” for Jourdanton football on and off for the past 15 years.
For at least 5 years, he has been the Director for the Atascosa County Livestock Show. Mike even took his talents further as he was awarded in 2013 Committeeman of the Year for the San Antonio Livestock Show.
Anytime there is an auction, Mike is there helping out as a ringman. He has volunteered in this capacity for twenty plus years for several area Chambers of Commerce, the Jourdanton Volunteer Fire Department and other notfor profit organizations.
As a member of the Jourdanton FFA Booster Club, he has helped with various fund raisers and the annual banquet. He was named as Honorary Member this past year.
Mike is truly deserving of this award. We appreciate everything he has done for our town.
Rhonda Lem Woman of the Year Sponsored by Friends of the Library
Rhonda Lem was born in Korea in 1958. She was adopted and brought to the United States when she was just 35 days old. She grew up in California and Arkansas. Thirty seven years ago Rhonda met and married the love of her life, Lewis Lem. They are the parents of four children and grandparents of 3.
Rhonda and Lewis moved to Jourdanton in 2002. Being an avid reader Rhonda came to the Library and got a card. One day she saw a sign up sheet on the counter for volunteers and the rest, as they say, is history! She became active in fundraising with the Friends of the Library, which in turn led her to volunteer for Chamber of Commerce projects and fund-raising for the Jourdanton EMS facility.
Before long she became a director of the Chamber of Commerce and was elected president. She served multiple terms in that position. Rhonda works on the annual BBQ & Auction every year as well as the Santa Claus event and Chamber Banquet where she serves as MC.
Rhonda is dedicated to the Jourdanton Community Library. She makes multiple salads every year for the Salad Luncheon as well as serving on the luncheon chopping committee and working the day of the event.
She served as Chairman of the Purchasing for the Little League Concession stands this year.
Rhonda is a member of the Jourdanton United Methodist Church.
She is a member of the Jourdanton Planning and Zoning Committee.
Rhonda is a dedicated member of our community and is most deserving of the Woman of the Year award.
Woman of the Year Pat Hewitt Sponsored by Friends of the Library
Pat Hewitt, and her family moved to Jourdanton in 2007 after a 26 year career in the United States Army. She has been extremely active and visible in the community. She was instrumental in starting the Jourdanton Boy Scout Troop and Cub Scout pack. She holds community service and citizenship central to her values and works hard to ensure that the youth understand, develop, and respect these same values. She is an officer in the Jourdanton Veterans of Foreign Wars and specifically engages community youth to participate in the VFW Scholarship and programs made available, nationally and locally. Through her personal efforts with the VFW Scholarship Program, over 15,000.00 has been awarded to community youth.
Pat donates an average of 100 to 150 hours of volunteer time per month directing or assisting in or with community programs. She has taken special interest in Flag Retirement Ceremonies, VFW Color Guard, Veteran Remembrances, Gold Star Family Luminaries, Scouting activities, and every year is personally responsible for the placement at the City Cemetery of Flags on the graves of veterans.
Gardener of the Year Lester and Dell Reichert Sponsored by Jourdanton Garden Club
The Jourdanton Garden Club has selected a couple this year that have kept their yard in pristine shape, both the front and the back. Many beautiful green grasses and vines adorn the front pathway. The yard has many flowering plants, including crape myrtles and wandering jew.
Their house located at 70 Poplar, which is a corner lot, is always well manicured and also displays such wonderful items to celebrate each season and holiday. They definitely have the magic touch, the proverbial green thumb.
If you go by the home of Lester and Dell Reichert you can’t help but admire the time and effort it takes to have such a lovely yard.
It is with great pride and appreciation that the Jourdanton Garden Club honors Lester and Dell for their hard work and gorgeous vegetation. They deserve to be the winner of the 2014 Gardeners of the Year Award.
Teen of the Year Cody Chambers Sponsored by JISD
Cody Chambers is Jourdanton High School’s Salutatorian of the class of 2014. He participated in multiple activities throughout his high school career. He was the Brass Captain in the Mighty Indian Band, Class President, President of the Student Council, and Mr. JHS during his senior year. He was also involved in Theater, UIL, Tennis, Winterguard, yearbook, FFA, and BPA. He also volunteers in his church and community.
His successes include making Region Band three years, Area Band two years, and achieved 5th chair tuba in the All-State band as a senior; Area with his Company two years and All Star Crew for two years in Theater; Editor of the Yearbook and a member of the National Honor Society.
He also received Academic All-State in Tennis, All-State in Texas Educational Color Guard Association, Mirabeau B. Lamar of Excellence, UIL Scholar Award, a Principal Honor Graduate, as well as several college scholarships from Texas A&M and local organizations.
He will be majoring in Chemical Engineering at Texas A&M in the fall and be a bass horn player in the Fightin’ Texas Aggie Band.
Cody is the son of Kay Chambers and Darrell Chambers and grandson to Buddy and Rena Simmons, and Annette Chambers.
Teen of the year Cassandra Reyes Sponsored by JISD
Cassandra Reyes is a Jourdanton High School graduate and is ranked number 4 in the Class of 2014. She participated in numerous school and community activities throughout her high school career.
She was the KSAT 12 Scholar Athlete of the Week, attained the US Army Reserve National Scholar/Athlete Award, was captain of the Volleyball, basketball, Softball and Cheerleading teams, editor of the Yearbook, District Setter of the Year in Volleyball, First Team all-District in Basketball, and First Team All-District Pitcher during her senior year.
She was also involved in many organizations to include: UIL, Theater, Yearbook, Cheerleading, Softball, Track, and Volleyball. She received numerous accolades in her early years to include Newcomer of the Year in basketball and softball as a freshman, Academic All- District in volleyball her freshman and sophomore years, and several skillbased All-District awards in various sports, as well.
She participated in many community service activities such as, SPJST Youth Group where she held leadership roles as Secretary and Vice President, Church Altar Server, and Nursery Volunteer. She donated school supplies and gifts to worthy causes and spent numerous hours serving those in need in her community.
Cassadra will attend Texas A&M in the fall and will major in Biomedical Science.
Business Person of the Year Lois Newman Sponsored by City of Jourdanton
Lois Newman has only been a resident of Jourdanton for two years, but has already made an impression. She owns and runs Allen Travel from her home.
She quickly joined the Chamber of Commerce and is now serving as a Director. Last year her travel agency was one of the supporters of the social hour. Lois helps out and donates to their March fundraiser, assists at the Christmas party, and works to help set up for the banquet.
On Thursdays you can find her as a member of the Senior Center enjoying the company of other seniors. Here, they play their weekly game of 84.
Lois joined the Jourdanton Garden Club and has helped out in all areas. She presently is in-charge of the business/ residence of the month, donates and helps out with all of their fundraisers, was an avid worker with our litter pickup, helped to man the fourth of July booth, and was a presenter at the second graders’ Seeds for Second Graders Program.
Lois Newman is a member of the Jourdanton Methodist Church and lends her talents to them. She made donations on a regular basis to the Jourdanton Soup Kitchen. She would bake pies, bring down fresh garden produce and help make casseroles for the shut-ins.
If this wasn’t enough, she is a member of the Friends of the Library and supports their annual salad luncheon on many levels.
Firefighter of the Year Jerry Brady Sponsored by Jourdanton Volunteer Fire Department
This year’s awardee has spent countless hours checking and preparing city owned and Fire Department owned equipment, along with attending required training, and let’s not forget the fires that he responds to. This year’s firefighter of the year was born on March 23, 1982 in Temple. He was a very curious child. He loved to take things apart and try to put them back together. Usually, after disassembly, the item would not work again, or at least, not the same as it was designed to. He would spend hours researching to find the answer to WHY something did not work, and how to fix it. He started to work as a mechanic at the age of 14, still taking things apart, learning how they worked, and putting them back together. He married his wife Tabatha on June 8, 2002. Their first son was born on May 13, 2002 and later second son was born and deceased on February 16, 2013. He is very passionate about the Fire Department and it’s all he ever talks about. This man has always been a very loving person, so the fire department is a perfect place for him to donate his time and expertise. Through the years, this man has become an excellent mechanic, and spends hours after work maintaining the equipment to a high level of readiness.
Teacher of the Year Robert Chaney Sponsored by VFW Post 4853
Robert Chaney is a dedicated English teacher at Jourdanton High School. He graduated with a Bachelors degree in English from San Antonio College and a Masters degree from UT in Austin. In 1969, Bill Brown hired him to teach high school English in Jourdanton and he has diligently taught here for 45 years.
His love for the Arts, Music and Theater has helped him to become one of the best UIL One-Act Play directors in Texas. Former students have gone on to teach English and continue their own careers in Theater Arts with him as their role model. He has taken his One Act Play teams to state competitions three times. With one of these plays the team placed 3rd.
He has been the high school UIL coordinator for many years. He serves as Honor Society sponsor and teaches dual credit English to juniors and seniors.
A few years ago, he suffered a severe reaction to a flu shot. He fought hard to recover and came back to teaching much to the delight of his students. He is well respected by high school staff members and administration.
He loves to read. He collects antiques, artwork and Belleek china. Students loved the sporty little cars he used to drive!
Thank you Mr. Chaney for your dedication to Jourdanton High School and devoting your life to helping mold our students into fine young men and women.
Special Lifetime Award Marie Gaenzel Sponsored by Jourdanton Chamber of Commerce
Born in 1926 in Ukraine, which at that time was part of the Russian Empire, Marie, her husband and two small boys, ages 4 and 6, came to New Orleans via boat as refugees in the early 1950s. Sponsored by Mr. and Mrs. Henry Schorsch, Sr., they took the train to San Antonio and were met to begin their new lives in the United States. Coming from Germany, they spoke no English. Working hard to assimilate into their new home, Marie added a daughter to their family, learned English, and became a Citizen of the United States of America in October of 1961. As with many of the immigrants of that time, hard work and pride made Marie and her family an asset to our community. At the age of 31, she joined the Jourdanton school system and using her love of children and joy of cooking, added not only health, but meals that had children (who we all know are not easy to please) coming back for seconds. Many a graduating senior enjoyed her efforts at the graduation parties. Keeping up with her own education and always learning, Marie took over the management of the kitchen and for 31 years kept many of us happy and healthy.
Even with her busy life with family and friends and lots of meal planning, Marie always had time for others.
A member of the Senior Citizens of Jourdanton, she and the others that make up the backbone of Jourdanton, had fundraisers, sponsored floats, and furnished, equipped and added on to the Senior Center building.
In the 80s The Senior Citizen’s Nutritional Program served meals 4 days a week, and you can guess who was the driving force in the kitchen.