Community volunteers, Campbells, Cunningham, Patel, Wal-Mart among Chamber honorees
By Jim Turner

Posted on March 9, 2018 9:52 PM


Two Logan Countians who could easily be named Citizen of the Year every year were honored for their community service during the Logan County Chamber of Commerce’s Annual Dinner Tuesday.

They are Eddie Brooks and Evelyn Richardson.

Retired regional librarian Evelyn Richardson, who was called a “walking encyclopedia of local history,” was recognized first for her unending contributions annually to the Logan County Tobacco & Heritage Festival. She has been deeply involved in community service for over a half century.

Then the Logan County Tourism & Convention Commission honored her and Darlynn Moorefor their vision almost 20 years ago on the Vision 2020 project that paved the way for creating the local tourism commission.

The other perpetual community servant honored was Eddie Brooks, a young man who cannot only be found at most public community activity but who is usually providing some service for the cause. In fact, he was in charge of the lighting for the Chamber dinner. He can be found helping the Russellville High School band, the Russellville Arts Council, and just about anything else that lets people enjoy the good life in Logan County.

Brooks was named the Chamber’s Volunteer of the Year.

In addition to Volunteer of the Year, major award winners were Shayna O’Kelley, Myla Porter, Sheila Cunningham, Jay and Trisha Campbell, Peter Patel/Econolodge and Wal-Mart.

O’Kelley, who directs the annual Community Thanksgiving Meal at First Presbyterian Church in Russellville, was cited for several activities that benefit those in need. She was presented the Logan United Award by Marie Gamble.

Porter, who is an air personality for WRUS, has long been involved in community benevolence. She also represents the Chamber at most of its activities. She was named Ambassador of the Year.

Cunningham is a middle school math teachers at Chandlers Elementary School. She was named Educator of the Year.

Jay and Trisha Campbell operate Campbells’ Choice Beefs on their South Logan farm. He is an agriculture teacher and FFA Advisor at Logan County High School. She is nurse practitioner at Logan Aluminum. They and their young sons were named Farm Family of the Year.

Patel owns local motels, and his Russellville Econolodge was named 2017 National Hotel of the Year for that line. He serves as a very active vice president of the Tourism Commission. His daughter, Deepa Patel, accepted the honor from Tourism Director DeeDee Brown.

In addition to Richardson and Moore, the local Tourism group honored former Russellville Councilwoman Pat Basham as a Friend of Logan County Tourism. Many days each year, Bashan writes on her Facebook page about the beauties of Logan County and posts pictures of historic buildings taken primarily by her son, Jim Basham.

Wal-Mart was presented Corporate Recognition for its donations to causes in the county.

Also honored were 2017 President King Simpson, Tobacco & Heritage Festival Chairs Ben Kemplin and Morgan Vick, retiring Chamber board members Holli Brown Black and Brent Summers, retiring Tourism Board member Laurie Belcher, and other Tobacco Festival leaders Richard Estes, Brian White, Jenn Siebold and Paula Timberlake. 

Logan County Judge-executive Logan Chick made many of the leadership presentations.

2018 Chamber President Mandy Henley of Lewisburg Banking Company presided over the meeting. She and others praised new Chamber Executive Director Karen Logan. Pandora Christian has been chosen to be her assistant.

Bryan Fuller of First Southern National Bank and a lieutenant in the Kentucky National Guard led the Pledge of Allegiance and Seth Manley sang the National Anthem. President-elect Ethan Holloway of H&H Sheetmetal led the invocation,

Summers along with Easton Nash and Ana Nash provided musical entertainment as members finished their meals catered by RZ Brothers Restaurant. Summers and Bobby Blackford conducted auctions of donated items after the formal program ended.

A unique facet of this celebration found award winners being interviewed on videos edited by Tori Mills. Trevor Brown managed audio and visual presentations. Some of the videos can be viewed at

Kristi Sweetsir Photography took a variety of pictures.

Shown in the accompanying photos is a picture of the current board. They are as follows:

L to R - Top Row: Ethan Holloway (H&H Sheetmetal), Paul Mullins (Logan Co. Schools), Bryan Fuller (First Southern National Bank), Shane Hayes (Gerald Printing), Joe W. Hendricks, Jr. (Brooks & Hendricks), Gary Grohovsky (Logan Aluminum Retiree), Kyle Hines (Logan Aluminum), Tom Harned (LEAD), King Simpson (Logan County Public Library), Bart Flener (Russellville Independent Schools). (Not Pictured: Dr. Thad Wells: Logan Eye Care) L to R - Bottom Row: Marie Gamble (Community Involvement), Kristen Herndon (Logan Telephone), Mandy Henley (Lewisburg Bank), Karen Logan (Chamber Director), Leann Martin (Ag Extension Agent), Kathy Edmonds(Kathy's Hair Salon), Dee Dee Brown (Logan County Tourism). (Not Pictured: Pandora Christian (Chamber Assistant)

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