Morrison named Chamber Citizen of the Year

A longtime Borger resident received Citizen of the Year honors during the Borger Chamber of Commerce banquet Thursday evening.Cleo Morrison received the honor from JoAnn Kuhrt, who is the wife of last year’s award recipient, the late Harry Kuhrt.Kuhrt said Borger is a community of people who tirelessly work to make the Borger team the best it can be. “Throwing duty, dedication, and passion into the work that they do for Borger makes these special people Most Valuable Players in our community,” she said.She said Morrison is a person who works quietly behind the scenes. She has been a Borger resident for 68 years, and the community has seen her serve as a valuable team coordinator to the First Methodist Church, the Quivira Girl Scout Council, Brownies and Cub Scout leader, PTA, Tops, Bluebonnet Extension Homemakers, Daughters of the Republic of Texas, United Daughters of the Confederacy, Daughters of the American Colonist, Delegate to the Genealogical Advisory Board for the Amarillo Public Library, and on the Museum board of trustees for eight years.“Of significance is that she has served actively as an officer in these organizations,” Kuhrt said.Morrison has received such honors as Woman of the Year for Hutchinson County Extension Homemakers, Volunteer of the Year for the Hutchinson County Historical Museum, the Community Builder Award presented by Adobe Walls Masonic Lodge #1355, placing on the Wall of Honor at Borger High School and the Distinguished Service Award from the Women’s Forum in Amarillo.“This indicates that this person is truly recognized as being outstanding in many areas not only in Borger, but in the Panhandle,” Kuhrt said. “Her work for Borger will be a gift that will never end.”Morrison has taken her love of genealogy and used her skills for researching and taking passion to honor the legacy of Borger citizens and veterans. Kuhrt said this will be enduring for generations to come.She has authored several books recording the history on various facets of Borger and Hutchinson County, has worked to record both the oral histories of Boomtown Borger and Borger citizens, and has spent endless time to obtain historic designation for three area cemeteries, each 100 years old.Morrison has also recorded the history of the Hutchinson County servicemen and achieving military makers in conjunction with the American Legion Men’s Division, honoring servicemen whose graves had gone unmarked for as long as 71 years.She has led the charge to obtain 12 historical marker designations for Hutchinson County and has spent 14-plus years computerizing the Cemetery Records of the county.“Her accomplishments continue...her love for Borger and recording the history of Borger continues,” Kuhrt said. “This quiet researcher, diligently recording history for generations to come has given Borger a gift that will continue to give for years. Thanks to this lady, the heritage of Boomtown Borger to All-American City and Borger as we know it today will preserved for citizens past and present to research and appreciate.”Also receiving honors during the banquet as Red Coat of the Year was Jerri Aylor.Presenting the honor to Aylor was Shawnda Molinar of H&H Printing, Etc. “The team has to have that person that cheers all concerned on to greater heights,” Molinar said. “This is the person that says ‘surrender the ME for the We.’”Aylor was described as someone who has served year after year making sure that everything goes smoothly, always filling the event or project work with graciousness and kindness.“When she sets out to serve, you know that the project will be carried out to the top level of performance,” Molinar said. “Present at ribbon cuttings, arranging Leadership Borger schedules, working on committees, hosting public receptions, judging for events...this Red Coat is always on the go.” Sustaining members of the Borger Chamber of Commerce were also recognized. These include Agrium, Allstate (Rex Young Agency), Borger Bank of Amarillo National Bank, Borger Federal Credit Union, Budweiser, Chevron Phillips Chemical Company, Conoco Phillips, Edward Jones, Orion Carbon Black, Golden Plains Community Hospital, Happy State Bank, Wells Fargo, and Xcel Energy.The 24th class of Leadership Borger received recognition during the chamber festivities as well. Members of this year’s class were Charlie Davis, Kristy Deaver, Daniela Daufla, Josette Escobar, Jim Fieldler, Kathie Harber, Deana Hubbard, Annadon Keys, Dee Landry, Candida Luman, Bridey McCormack, Joel Prall, Kaci Rodela, Phyllis Seamster, and Debra Wells.Retiring chamber directors Mark Derouen, Theron Baker, and Michelle Griffin were honored, along with outgoing chamber chairman Tina Taylor, who was presented with an award by incoming chairman Sara Bumgarner. The 2012-13 Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors will consist of Chairman Elect Rex Young, Treasurer Tina Taylor, Mike Amos, Bill Benda, Beverly Creacy, Dale Gallaspy, Jack Klaus, Debbie Krum, Shawnda Molinar, James Mosley, Cindy Sibley, and Patti Wieronski. Ex oficio members are Chance Welch, Dennis Jack, Jerri Aylor, and Eddie Edwards.Comedian and motivational speaker David Ferrell provided entertainment for the evening’s festivities.Silver sponsors for the banquet were Borger Bank, Borger Federal Credit Union, Chevron Phillips, McDonalds, and Sara’s Health Foods. Gold level sponsors were Golden Plains Community Hospital, Frank Phillips College, Minton Chatwell Funeral Directors, and Xcel Energy.The banquet committee consisted of Jerri Aylor, chairman; Michelle Griffin, Crystal Irvin, Dale Gallaspy, Cindy Sibley, Tina Taylor, and Shawnda Molinar.