Dedicated to the memory of Lance Reese, the event simultaneously honored citizens and veterans who have made a difference both in the local community and the world.
Hosted by the Walker and Catoosa County Chambers of Commerce and sponsored by hundreds of local businesses and individuals, the event raised over $5000 for the Citizens’ and Veterans’ Memorial at the Benton Place Campus.
Shanda Reese, a volunteer at the event and daughter of Lance Reese, sold bricks to be laid in the memorial (currently under construction) Saturday evening. Lance, a Catoosa Chamber ambassador and chairman of Habitat for Humanity passed away June 4.
“People have been really supportive of the event,” Shanda said. “We’ve already sold literally thousands of bricks so far, and tonight we’re doing great.”
“The evening was wonderful and everyone had a good time,” said Yvonne Morgan, one of the event organizers of the event. “We were really able to bring a level of awareness to the public regarding the memorial, which was what we wanted.”
Highlights of the evening included: a Kids’ Parade, military tribute, performances by local musicians, fireworks and the presentation of awards honoring local individuals committed to country and community.
These honors culminated in a moving program of music and speech, as those selected for outstanding service and dedication were honored.
Catoosa County’s “Citizen of the Year” was a title shared among three individuals: David Armour, Martha Green and Ms. Yvonne T. Morgan. Michael Ray Gard was honored as the Catoosa’s “Veteran of the Year,” and Augustus M. Warren and Lyndon K. Wilson, Sr. were chosen to receive the “Veterans’ Patriotism Award.”
Eddie Upshaw was named Walker County’s “Citizen of the Year.” Odis E. Hickman was honored as the “Veteran of the Year” from Walker, while Robert Honeycutt and Charles Benjamin Napier were honored with the “Veterans’ Patriotism Award.”
“It was all just so — wonderful,” said Morgan. “I think it is great that the two counties can come together like this and for such a great cause — for those who do so much.”
Organizers are already beginning to plan next year’s event, scheduled for the Saturday before July 4th.
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