Business, Heart, Heritage awards given at TCDF banquet

RIPLEY — The Tippah County Development Foundation Banquet was held Tuesday, Oct. 12 at the First Baptist Church Family Life Center with 350 people attending and enjoying the evening. The crowd enjoyed a meal after an invocation delivered by Charity Church Pastor Tim Watson, who is also a board member of the TCDF. Bro. Tim Watson said in his prayer, “Thank you, Lord, for county leaders who have a vision for the future of Tippah County.” After the meal, TCDF Director Duane Bullard thanked and welcomed the special guests. According to information presented at the dinner, more than 30 businesses have been started or upgraded totaling more than $32 million dollars in the past two years, “and that was in hard times throughout the country. Tippah County has been blessed and all appreciate it,” Tippah County Development Foundation Director Duane Bullard. The crowd watched a special presentation, “Celebrating Tippah County – A Year in Review,” of pictures that were put to music. The display include various things: Fall colors of 2009; snow in January; damages caused by storms in May to First Monday, Ripley, Dumas, Falkner, Ashland, and Walnut. The video then showed Christmas decorations on houses, decorations at the Cotton Plant Christmas each year, and beautiful lighting and seasonal flowers throughout the county. EcoWater Systems was recognized with a plaque as the “Industry of the Year.” The crowd also witnessed a slide show of the plant, equipment, robotics, and employees. Plant Manager Bob Polcyn, said the company has invested more than $25 million since its start in 1998. Polcyn also said more announcements will be made for Ripley during the last quarter of this year that will substantially increase employment and equipment. Said Bullard: “Tippah County is very proud to have EcoWater and looks forward to their growth. The “Heritage Award” was then presented to the Ripley Theatre Arts Council for the work they’ve done for 40 years to culturally enhance citizens through the arts. Kathy Voyles, Jo Todd and Nancy McBride accepted the award on behalf of the Ripley Arts Council and a slide presentation was presented showing some of the plays and musicals presented in the past two years. “The last event was very special as we presented the “Heart for Tippah County” Awards to two fascinating women; Nancy McBride and Joann Munn. “These two women have given their entire working lives in making our world a better place to live and work,” Bullard said. “Nancy McBride, owner of McBride Funeral Home with her family, always carries a smile with her every day. She has also been the producer and director of more than 15 plays and musicals over the years and she continues to act when called upon. She is a wonderful lady that has earned this recognition and wears it with style and grace,” Bullard said. “Our other winner was Joann Munn. Mrs. Joann was a school secretary who ran Ripley High School and her “Little Darlings” for more than 27 years and was, and is, loved by all. “Her life also included being the District Girl Scout Director that led so many youth to being great citizens. Mrs. Joann has been a leader in her church and been a record keeper for many years. Mrs. Joann has also been with McBride Funeral Home since her first two retirements and continues to take care of souls, young and old, on her daily walk with life,” the TCDF Director said. “The TCDF is very thankful for many things and continues to make Tippah County a special place to live and work. Keep your eyes open for who will be spotted as next year’s “Industry of the Year”, “Heritage” Award winner, and who will fill the shoes of the “Heart for Tippah County” Award winner. You never know who it might be,” he concluded. -0-

Hank Wiesner