Last year’s Outstanding Citizen recipient Dr. Dave Williams started his introduction of this year’s recipients by saying, “This year, we chose two outstanding childhood sweethearts.” 

Citing the couple’s many accomplishments and contributions, Williams named Carol and Edwin Farrar as Outstanding Citizens of the Year during Thursday night’s annual chamber of commerce dinner and awards banquet.

First describing Carol, Williams said, “My mother told me there are a lot of women in the world but not very many ladies. This is a lady. She is elegant, intelligent, industrious and talented.”

He went on to tell of her many accomplishments after returning to Waxahachie with a music degree from North Texas.

“She taught music in our school system, she was the pianist in her church and later served as the music director at the United Methodist Church,” he said.

“Her husband attended TCU and returned to Waxahachie as a real estate agent. He got on the city council and was instrumental in getting the super collider for Waxahachie,” Williams said of Edwin’s early accomplishments.

As a couple, “They have been on every community possible in the United Methodist Church and were instrumental in the fund drive for the new organ. Together, they have been active on many community boards and fundraising events in the city,” Williams said.

In accepting their award, Edwin Farrar said, “This is awesome for us. It is such an honor to join the outstanding citizens that have come before us.”

Other awards also were presented during the evening.

Ambassador

of the Year

The Ambassador of the Year Award was presented to Katherine Sirchia by Joe Jenkins, who described her as a true ambassador to the city and the chamber.

Mabel Frame Award

Mike and Elizabeth Tull were the recipients of the Mabel Frame Award as presented by Hilda Chapman.

Leadership Award

Neal White presented the Leadership Award to Jim Chapman.

White cited Chapman’s many accomplishments including his service as president of the Waxahachie Community Development Corporation, where he led efforts to conceive and construct a $16 million civic center and sports complex.

Marvin E. Singleton Environmental Award 

The Marvin E. Singleton Jr. Environmental Award was presented by Mark Singleton to Bryan Johnson for his work on the Optimist Baseball Park.

“The Optimist Field is a new field that is as nice as any field in the area,” Singleton said.

Johnson expressed his appreciation, saying, “This means a lot to a lot to older people as well as the youth. Many memories will be made there.”

Nonprofit of the Year

Leslie Majors named the Waxahachie Lions Club as this year’s recipient of the Nonprofit Organization of the Year honor. She described the group’s many contributions to the community including its eye glass program and support of the community through donations received during the annual mini grand prix race.

Small Business of the Year

Tammy and Wayne Strickland, owners of College Street Pub, were honored as Outstanding Small Business of the Year.

“This recipient has worked hard to make Waxahachie great,” presenter Michael Scott said. “This couple took a dream and made it a reality.” 

Wayne Strickland thanked the couple’s daughter and others who have helped them.

“They made the difference,” Strickland said.

Business of the Year

Business of the Year was presented to Belk by Debra Wakeland.

“There were many candidates, but this business has a long tradition of giving back to the community,” she said.

Accepting the award for the Waxahachie Belk department store was Shelley Graham.

Industry of the Year

Paul Stevens took the podium to describe this year’s Industry of the Year honoree, Walgreens, pointing out that the company is the city’s largest taxpayer and employer.

“Two years ago, our industry of the year started an initiative to hire people with disabilities,” he said, noting the company’s recognition of a Governor’s Award for that program.

Accepting the award for the Waxahachie Walgreens Distribution Center was Mike Nehrimg.

Chairman’s Award

Chapman presented the Chair’s Special Award to Ferne Lyle, who received a standing ovation as she made her way to the stage. Chapman described the chamber staff member as an “unsung leader in the chamber.”

The theme of the event was the “81st Annual Academy Awards Ceremony,” with Jenkins bringing it to attention that “the Waxahachie chamber awards ceremony and the Academy Awards are both the same age, started at the same time.”