South Shelby Chamber presents annual Diamond Awards

By BRAD GASKINS / Staff Writer

COLUMBIANA – The South Shelby Chamber of Commerce presented its annual Diamond Awards on Dec. 1 at Columbiana United Methodist Church.

Don Armstrong and Marvin Copes were named 2011 Co-Citizen of the Year.

“He stole the hearts of everyone in this room and in our communities through the love he showed to his son, Scott Armstrong, during Scott’s battle with cancer,” Miranda Carter said in presenting the award to Armstrong.

Don Armstrong’s “true and strong character was also revealed to all of us through the simultaneous love and care which he extended to his childhood sweetheart and wife during her long sickness and eventual death,” Carter continued. “He dedicated his life to her, loved her and cared for her every need, every day up to the very end.”

Copes “tirelessly built the Shelby County RSVP program from 365 volunteers to over 980 senior volunteers, which is more than any other volunteer program in Alabama,” Amanda Smith said in presenting the award to Copes.

Copes, Smith said, is a “silent warrior” for Shelby County.

“Most people have no idea how much he contributes to our county,” Smith said of Copes.

Karen Stamps was named the Ambassador of the Year, as selected by the Diamond Awards Committee.

Stamps assists at various chamber events, welcoming new businesses at ribbon cuttings and attending various functions throughout the county.

Chelsea’s Baptist Health Center was named New Business of the Year.

“Seeing a need to expand in a high residentially growing area, this new clinic and its staff will offer top medical care from a highly trained staff that will enable the residents in Chelsea and Highway 280 to maintain a healthy lifestyle for the entire family,” Smith said of the center.

The CPA firm of Deloach, Barber and Caspers was named Business of the Year.

“The members of this firm have a passion for what they do and perform excellent work for area companies and individuals to assist them in keeping their businesses running smoothly and efficiently,” John Browning said in presenting the award to the firm.

Browning, a member of the chamber’s board of directors who also serves on the Diamond Award Committee, said chamber membership increased by 20 percent in 2011. He credited the increase to the “hard work” of Stacy Walkup, the chamber’s executive director.

The South Shelby Chamber serves Columbiana, Chelsea, Wilsonville, Harpersville, Westover and Vincent.