Banquet seeks to honor

Published 2:19 pm Thursday, January 18, 2018

Members of the Buckingham Chamber of Commerce honored members of the community during the annual Chamber Awards Banquet on Monday evening.

Winners received the awards at the Dillwyn Fire Department following a hearty meal from Piggin’ Out Catering and a silent auction that contained more than a dozen prizes.

Wallace Goode received the Volunteer of the Year Award, Daniel Brickhill received the Youth Achievement Award, Margaret Stout, owner of Dillwyn Dairy Freeze, received the Business of the Year Award and Gene Bishop Dixon Jr. was posthumously awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award, which was accepted by his son, Guy Bishop Dixon.

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Jewel Harris, who presented the Volunteer of the Year Award, said Goode’s nearly 30 years of leadership in area fire departments, first in Glenmore and later in Dillwyn, have set an example for the rest of the county.

“He has been quoted as saying he joined the squad and the fire department because he wanted to help people in Buckingham,” Harris said, “and I would say he has quite fulfilled his wish.”

Goode said the award had explained the multiple questions he had received from members of the chamber. He thanked members of the chamber.

“My wife said, ‘Wallace, you’ve got to be off Jan. 15,’” Goode said as the audience laughed. “I’m like, ‘Why?’ ‘Can’t tell you.’ So I put in for vacation, and now I know why.”

Faye Shumaker detailed Brickhill’s impressive credentials, including a 4.6 GPA, recognition as a Student-Athlete of the Year by the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame, serving on missions trips in the U.S. and Guatemala and his acceptance into Harvard University.

“He’s a servant leader who is passionate not only about his academics, athletics, faith, family and his future, he is also passionate about investing in people and standing up for what he believes is right and best,” Shumaker said.

Brickhill described his gratitude and promised to continue to make those around him proud.

“To be here in front of a group of such great leaders and community servants is truly just an honor, and (it is) humbling to be given this award,” Brickhill said. “I’m proud to say I’m from Buckingham, and one promise that I will make is that I will not let you down, that I will keep working hard, that I will not become complacent, and I will do my very best to continue to make you proud.”

Angela Moore described her experiences growing up in Glenmore when her father would take her and her siblings to Dillwyn Dairy Freeze. She also described the dedication Dillwyn Dairy Freeze Owner Margaret Stout has to her business and the community.

“This business has served Buckingham in so many ways,” Moore said. “During inclement weather, when no one else is open, the (Dillwyn) Dairy Freeze is there to serve (Virginia Department of Transportation) employees … the prison guards, the nursing home — they feed all of us.”

Stout said she was surprised and grateful about the award.

“I don’t know how they kept it a secret, but I had no idea,” Stout said about the award. “I thank all of you, and it’s a great opportunity to serve Buckingham County.”

Shumaker, voice choking with emotion at times, nominated Gene Bishop Dixon Jr. for the Lifetime Achievement Award. Audience members were asked to stand as Shumaker delivered the nomination and as Guy Dixon accepted the award.

Gene Dixon Jr. served as president of Kyanite Mining Corp. and chairman of The Disthene Group Inc., the parent company of Kyanite. He served as a leader in Buckingham County for more than 50 years, Shumaker said.

Shumaker noted Dixon’s enormous contribution to area fire departments, the area school division, the Buckingham Arts Council and the establishment of the Gene Dixon Sr. Memorial Park.

“Gene was many things — a veteran, historian and a great outdoorsman,” Shumaker said. “He was a quiet and unassuming man who never sought the limelight nor any recognition for his generosity and his kind heart. Many times when someone had lost their home or when they were facing insurmountable medical bills, he would quietly press a large contribution into somebody’s hands to be passed onto the appropriate person.”

Shumaker said there was more to be said about Dixon, but out of respect for he and his family, she offered a verse from the book of Matthew, chapter 25, verse 35: “‘Verily I say unto you, if you have done unto the least of these my brethren, you have done it unto me.’”

Guy Dixon thanked members of the chamber for the award and for noting his father’s service to the community.

“This is a great honor,” Guy said when receiving the award. “Dad was a unique individual, and he is very much missed by my family.”