LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - The Deep East Texas Council of Governments held their annual membership meeting and award luncheon on Thursday at the Pitser Garrison Convention Center.
Two prestigious awards were given out, along with several scholarships.
The coveted Ralph W. Steen Memorial East Texan of the Year Award was presented to State Senator Robert Nichols.
Senator Nichols was not present at the meeting due to prior obligations. District Coordinator Dawn Glover accepted the award on his behalf.
The Ralph W. Steen Memorial East Texan of the Year Award has become one of the most prestigious and longest running, recognitions bestowed in Deep East Texas. Each year past recipients cast ballots to select who will receive the award from nominations received from the twelve county DETCOG regions.
The DETCOG President's choice award was presented to Polk County Judge John Thompson.
This award is given each year to the DETCOG Committee Member who has shown dedication, commitment, loyalty, and interest in providing a window of opportunity to help the citizens of Deep East Texas improve their way of life.
"It is absolutely great. I tell you, it has been a wonderful 32 years, 8 years representing the city of Livingston and 24 years representing Polk County as the County Judge," Thompson said. "DETCOG is so important to us in East Texas, you know there are so many thing we individual can't do, that together, when we work together we can do,"
Woodville High School graduate Jerry Nanney and Nacogdoches High School graduate Faith Decker received the DETCOG Stewart and Malone Memorial Scholarship.
The DETCOG Stewart and Malone Memorial Scholarships were established in 1990 by DETCOG to honor C.E. Steward and the Rev. P.V. Malone. Both men were outstanding educators and members of the DETCOG Board who had lifelong dedications to public service.
The following students received the DETCOG Employee Memorial Scholarship: Nacogdoches High School graduate Vincet Woodard, Kirbyville High School graduate Ryan Ford, Jasper High School graduate Hannah Hensarlin, Jasper High School graduate, Shakira Collins, Newton High School graduate Samantha Alford.
The DETCOG Employee Memorial Scholarship was created by the employees of DETCOG to honor the memory of Lois Davis, Betty Owens, Gail Hairgrove, and Jean Lewis. These individuals all passed away while working for the Council of Governments. The funding for this $500 scholarship comes solely from DETCOG employee contributions. The applications are all reviewed by DETCOG employees, who make the choice as to which applicants receive the award.
The meeting and award luncheon are a way for DETCOG directors, members, and staff to visit with representatives of the community and highlight those who have, made a difference in Deep East Texas.