ABERDEEN – A sense of Volunteerism. Dedication. Academics. The Tombigbee Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution honed in on these attributes among others in selecting a few of Aberdeen and Hamilton’s finest for its annual awards ceremony Jan. 25.
“We just felt like this year we had top notch people. It was practically standing room only. Everyone there seemed so positive and thought they deserved these honors,” said the DAR Tombigbee Chapter Regent Faith West.
Those honorees she spoke of are Outstanding JROTC Cadet, Jose Gonzalez; Citizenship Award recipient, Dalton Honeycutt; and citizens of the year, Marsha Ballard and Lloyd Massey.
Massey’s photography has captured not only pieces of Aberdeen history but Aberdeen’s history in the making, as he is a visible fixture snapping photos at most major functions. He is most visible as executive director of the Loaves and Fishes Food Pantry, which was named the most outstanding food pantry two years running in the MidSouth Food Bank's service area. Massey is also active at First United Methodist Church and with the Aberdeen Pilgrimage Association.
Another supporter of the Aberdeen Pilgrimage Association is Ballard, who is also active in a number of other local organizations like the Rotary Club, Red Hatters, Mission Mississippi and the Monroe County Chamber of Commerce, which she was recently named chairperson. Ballard is also an ambassador for Aberdeen through her role as a real estate agent.
Aberdeen High School JROTC’s Major Rufus Biggs stated that his first year at the school has been an easy transition thanks to Gonzales. West said she has noticed his leadership qualities since he first joined the school’s JROTC. In addition to his leadership in the JROTC, Gonzalez is active in several school activities like band and is a student representative on the Aberdeen School District's P-16 Council.
Honeycutt scored a 33 on the ACT and has future plans to major in physics at Ole Miss. The Hamilton High School senior is also the recipient of the Andrea Harden Scholarship and, in addition to being active in several organizations at school, has earned several awards through the HHS band. DAR member Polly Grimes was instrumental in both the scholarship and the Citizenship Award.