heroes honored at chamber event
Its an honor to get an award
for something we love to do, Henry and Jerry Walker noted
as they accepted an award for their dedication to sports at Milan.
The couple was among others named as unsung heroes
for their dedication to local school sports at the Ripley County
Chamber of Commerces 17th Annual meeting held October 22
at the South Ripley Elementary School Cafeteria.
The tables were decorated with four balloons each, displaying
colors depicting area schools. Chamber President Barry Lauber
welcomed the crowd and introduced Matt Low from South Ripley who
honored those gathered with his clear rendition of the National
Anthem. This was followed by Milan High School Principal Rich
Healy leading the Pledge of Allegiance. The theme of the event
surrounded local high school sports and the unsung heroes
who are involved in various aspects of sports at each school.
The Walkers have attended almost every sporting event at Milan
where there are 19 to choose from. They were hailed as two
of Milan High Schools most dedicated fans.
The Walkers have impacted many people in the Milan community,
acting out of love, Cathy May, chamber representative, noted
as she introduced the couple who have been going to sporting events
at Milan for 57 years of their 60 years of marriage.
Troy Mohr accepted the award after being nominated to represent
South Ripley. Mohr has taught at South Ripley for 20 years where
he has tutored many students - on his own time - and been involved
in coaching track and cross country. In his modest fashion, he
recognized his family in the audience and then thanked mentors
John Kalb and Sam Durham, unwilling to take the award solely for
Eric Wirth, a senior at Jac-Cen-Del was chosen as the unsung
hero for helping the athletic director any way he
can. He was described as a good student with a good attitude.
He also gave the invocation before the meal at the beginning of
Bertha Hazelwood received the award for her dedication to the
Batesville Bulldogs. May introduced her saying, she is a
true Bulldog through and through, who bleeds Bulldog blue.
Hazelwood thanked everyone involved in nominating her and said
a lot goes on that people dont see. She is known
as being ready and willing to help in all aspects of the athletic
programs at Batesville.
Im proud to be here tonight, John Popovich,
sports director for Channel 9 WCPO TV in Cincinnati and keynote
speaker for the event.
Popovich, who lives in Dearborn County, said he is very familiar
with Ripley County as he and his wife enjoy dining at the Osgood
Grub Co. for their famous chicken and Ertels Winery. He
said they find the Tyson United Methodist Church to be one of
the most beautiful and unusual.
Popovich noted that he has covered stories from the area about
Jason McKittrick of Holton - a world class archer - and the recent
Jac-Cen-Del State Championship, to which the crowd cheered.
He said already this year the TV station has covered some great
football plays at Milan and of course, who could forget the Milan
Miracle of 1954?
Popovich said he wanted to play sports when he was young, but
soon learned his short stature wouldnt work for basketball.
He had another story about baseball. He said he had a bad game
and told his mother he wasnt seeing very well. The second
grader went to the eye doctor, who confirmed he was having some
trouble - with his weak swing, but his eyes were fine.
The crowd enjoyed the humor of Popovich telling his story of getting
to where he has been the past 30 years at Channel 9.
Hes covered major league sports, the Reds, Bengals, and
the Super Bowl. But, Popovich says he really enjoys high school
sports, which he described the players as giving forth great effort,
great enthusiasm, and an honest performance.
He talked about team building and encouraged the business owners
gathered at the event to continue to support local teams.
Popovich has won numerous Emmy and other broadcasting awards for
his outstanding writing, producing and reporting over the years.
He said through it all, he truly enjoys hometown sports and was
honored to be a part of the evening.
The Ripley County Chamber of Commerce is a strong advocate for
Officers include President Barry Lauber, Vice-President, Linda
Chandler, Secretary, Gerry Nordmeyer, and Treasurer Bonnie Jeffries.
Board of Directors approved for 2010-2012 were: Linda Chandler,
Mary Ann McCoy, Rick Gilland and Wilbur Myers.
WANDA ENGLISH BURNETT PHOTO
Unsung Heroes - those behind the scenes
at area high school events, were honored at the Ripley County
Chamber of Commerce's Annual meeting, held October 22. Guest
speaker for the evening, John Popovich, news director for
WCPO TV Channel 9, says he enjoys reporting on high school
sports as he gave the keynote speech for the evening. Pictured
are: Bertha Hazelwood, Batesville; Henry and Jerry Walker,
Milan; Popovich, Eric Wirth, Jac-Cen-Del, and Troy Mohr,