Chamber of Commerce announces new scholarships
FRONT ROYAL – The Front Royal-Warren County Chamber of Commerce’s Board of Directors announced the creation of two scholarships during its annual awards dinner this week.
The awards will be named in honor of two members of the Chamber of Commerce, Roy K. Boyles and James M. Eastham. Boyles died on Dec. 30. Eastham is currently battling cancer.
During the awards dinner, Doug Stanley, county administrator who announced the scholarships, described both people as active members in the community.
Boyles served as chairman of the Chamber of Commerce twice and chairman of the Warren County School Board for five years. Eastham, Stanley said, is a “glutton for punishment” who was willing to serve two terms as mayor of Front Royal. Eastham was also president of the Front Royal Rotary Club and chair of the Warren Memorial Hospital, the Front Royal Planning Commission and the Chamber of Commerce.
“Their two scholarships are established to recognize Roy and Jim’s contributions to our community,” Stanley said.
He said high school seniors will be able to apply for the awards, which will be judged by a committee of past Chamber of Commerce chairs. For the application, students will write a 300-word essay describing their career plans, send in a list of work experience and two letters of recommendation from non-relatives.
“Scholarships will be awarded based on the applicant’s interest in continuing education, participation and leadership in school and community activities and a reputation for good citizenship and moral character,” Stanley said.
Eastham’s wife Denise went to the podium to accept the honor on behalf of her husband, who she said was in the hospital.
Following the announcement of the scholarships, members of the chamber’s board requested money to fund the scholarships.
Beyond announcing the creation of the scholarship, the board celebrated local citizens and entrepreneurs during the annual awards ceremony.
The event began with Mike O’Dell, the emcee, thanking the sponsors of the dinner and the current board members. The Northern Virginia Daily was one of those sponsors, and Mike Gochenour, publisher of the newspaper, is a past chairman of the Chamber of Commerce.
John “Boomer” Stufflebeam, an ex-NFL punter and a former Navy admiral, spoke about the importance of unity within the business community. By uniting together, Stufflebeam said, businesses could help ensure that their communities flourish.
Stufflebeam also emphasized the importance of self-examination in building successful enterprises.
“The biggest risk is to be willing to open oneself up to examination,” Stufflebeam said.
The Chamber of Commerce awarded two people with Public Safety Contributors of the Year Awards: firefighter and medic Raymond Cross and Detective David Fogle of the Front Royal Police Department. Cross, O’Dell said, was awarded both Firefighter of the Year and EMT of the Year awards.
“He has saved many people from the perils of cardiac arrest, drug overdoses, stroke and the list goes on,” O’Dell said.
Fogle, meanwhile, led efforts to investigate criminal incidents at the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1860, resulting in an indictment.
William Huck, the owner of C & C Frozen Treats, won the award for Entrepreneur of the Year Award. Huck, who was wearing a bright blue suit with palm trees on it, said he was humbled by the award.
“I look forward to many, many years of enjoyment — and loud suits,” Huck said.
The Nonprofit of the Year Award went to the Front Royal Rotary Club, which conducted mock interviews with high school students and provided all third-graders in Warren County with dictionaries this year.
The Education Contributor of the Year Award went to Rich Follett, coach of the Forensics and Theatre team at Skyline High School.
The Business of the Year Award went to Ray and Tina Bramble, the owners of Aire Serv of the Shenandoah Valley. Stanley praised them for their efforts in the community.
“There aren’t many nonprofits, community events, youth sports leagues that they have not supported in some way,” Stanley said.
The Citizen of the Year Award went to Tim and Tammy Darr. Tim Darr was awarded the Community Leadership Award from the Warren-Page NAACP in 2012, while Tammy Darr is active in the Warren County Humane Society, serving as a board member.
The Community Impact Award went to Randolph-Macon Academy, which Stanley praised for providing volunteer work and funding for several local charities. In his speech, Stufflebeam, a graduate and current trustee of R-MA, also praised the school.
Contact staff writer Max Lee at 540-465-5137 ext. 155, or firstname.lastname@example.org