ELIZABETHTOWN — The late Ben Greene had a vision for property he his wife Mary owned out near the Elizabethtown Industrial Park to be used for lakefront and conservation activities. But that vision was put on hold when he passed away not long ago.
Mary Greene, however, wouldn’t let her husband’s vision go by the wayside. The Greenes donated property that will eventually become Greene Lake & Conservation Park, located behind Cape Fear Vineyard & Winery.
On June 20, she will be honored by the Elizabethtown-White Lake Area Chamber of Commerce at the annual banquet with its Honorable Lifetime Chamber Member of the Year Award for her work and commitment in completing the vision and dream of her husband.
“She will be given an individual membership annually and be invited to attend the monthly lunches as often as she likes as an honorable lifetime member of the organization,” said Dawn Maynard, executive director of the Chamber. “She will be an asset to the Chamber if she chooses to become more active after receiving (the award).”
The banquet will also feature three additional awards.
The Chamber’s Outstanding Member of the Year Award will be given to Mike and Kare Suggs, owners of Fisher’s Mens & The Ladies Shop for their support of the Chamber and its events.
“Fishers Mens & The Ladies Shop have been serving Bladen County and surrounding communities for 84 years,” Maynard said. “They participate in most everything we offer in some capacity or another. I was surprised when I realized they had never been recognized in any capacity in years past.”
The Small Business Chamber Person of the Year will be presented to June Massengill from Cape Fear BBQ & Chicken.
“June Massengill gives her time to the Chamber for very little compensation and she is very supportive of the events we do in the community.s,” Maynard said. “Cape Fear BBQ provides the food sold at the annual concert series held in Elizabethtown as well as the monthly lunch meetings.”
The annual Caring Persons of the Year Award will be given to both Ann Garrett and Barbara Knight “for their love and dedication to the United Way of Bladen County,” Maynard said.
“Both ladies have given many hours and love to the organization,” she added. “After Hurricane Matthew hit Bladen County last fall, both ladies exceeded the demands of the volunteer positions and continue to share their time and talents effortlessly to serve those in need.”
All of the award recipients were selected by the Chamber’s board of directors.
“I am excited to announce this year’s award recipients and I look forward to recognizing them publicly at the annual banquet at Lu Mil Vineyard,” Maynard said. “I think they are all deserving recipients and I am so thankful that I have the opportunity to work with each of them.”
W. Curt Vincent can be reached by calling 910-862-4163.