Williams leads Chamber honors


By Kyle Mooty

LPR Editor

A youth gaining experience and an elder who has helped teach plenty of it were among those honored at Saturday night’s annual Lockhart Chamber of Commerce Banquet held at the Luling Civic Center.

Shirley Williams, 81, was named Most Worthy Citizen by the Chamber, while 12-year-old Jack Westmoreland (see related article, this page) was honored with the Chisholm Trail Roundup Spirit Award.

Other awards went to the following:

Individual Spirit Award — Shari Foster 

Business Spirit Award — Visionary Fiber Technologies, Inc. 

Non-Profit Spirit Award — Greater Caldwell County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce 

Agribusiness of the Year — Gary Dickenson 

Business of the Year — Lockhart Post-Register 

Between accolades for some guests, Stan Gerdes, Texas State Representative, District 17, addressed the audience.

“Thank you for making Caldwell County the best place to live and work and raise your family,” said Gerdes, who also called Lockhart ISD Superintendent Mark Estrada the most engaging superintendent in District 17.

Also, the banquet marked the beginning as Chairman of the Chamber for Eric DeHoyos, who replaced Winn Smith after his one-year term.

“I’m really excited about things we have going on in the community,” DeHoyos said.

Last year’s Most Worthy Citizen, Jeffry Michelson, introduced Williams, something he called a “distinguished honor.”

“Lockhart, Texas is the most wonderful place to live,” said Michelson, who noted Williams had worked for the Lockhart Independent School District and George Washington Carver Kindergarten for a quarter of a century. He also mentioned numerous clubs and organizations of which Williams was a part of.

“We all know her and see her everywhere we go,” Michelson said. “If there is an event in town, you’ll definitely run into her. Undoubtedly, when you see her there’s always a beautiful smile on her face.”

Williams was born and raised in Dale, and is a graduate of Lockhart Vocational Carver High School in 1959.

Williams, like other award recipients, was surprised by the honor, but began to realize she was going to be on the receiving end during Michelson’s introduction.

“Oh, my goodness; that’s all I’ve been saying since he was telling the story,” Williams said. “I thought, he’s talking about me.”

Williams and her husband, Homer, are beginning their 59th year in marriage. They have two children and two grandchildren.

“My husband and I have done our best of doing what we know as right to do and teaching them how to conduct themselves and growing up to be somebody where you can make a difference,” Williams said. “I had some wonderful years at Carver Kindergarten. They still come up now and say, ‘Mrs. Williams.’ One had me crying at H-E-B. They say you made us anxious to come to school every day.

“I had a strong foundation. Don’t try to be anybody different. You stay true to yourself. If people don’t like you, you move on. And this just gives me more encouragement and keep on living and doing God’s will.”

Other awards:

The Individual Spirit Award – Shari Foster

“(Foster’s) positive influence is felt far and wide,” said Kim Clifton, Lockhart Chamber of Commerce Director of Operations.

Business Spirit Award – Visionary and Fiber Technologies

“They have grown from six initial employees in 2018 to over 50 in five short years,” said Past Chairman Winn Smith. “They are a unique and special spirit in our community. They have wonderful employees.”

Non-profit Spirit Award – Greater Caldwell County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce

Chisholm Trail Spirit – Jack Westmoreland (see related story on this page)

Agribusiness of the Year Award – Gary Dickenson

Dickenson graduated from Texas A&M in 1974 with a degree in Animal Science. He served 24 years on the Luling Foundation, was Chairman of the AgriLife Ag Committee, received the Texas Agriculture District 10 Man of the Year Award, and he is President of the Lockhart Farmers and Artisans Market.

Business of the Year Award – Lockhart Post Register

Kent Black, last year’s Business of the Year recipient for the Original Black’s BBQ, noted, “There are a ton of great businesses in Lockhart. I’m so excited to be a part of this community with so many wonderful businessmen and businesswomen.

“This business has been around since 1872. Most of you have read their product. The Garretts purchased this business about 45 years ago from the Mohle family. In rural Texas it’s hard to keep a paper alive. A lot of towns don’t have a paper, but we’re so blessed to have the Lockhart Post-Register still going strong. For $1 you can get their paper, and if you read that you’ll know what’s going on. It’s very valuable.”


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