Montevallo Chamber names Civic Leader, Citizen of Year

By STEVEN CALHOUN/Staff Writer

The Montevallo Chamber of Commerce held its Annual Community Picnic on May 25 at Parnell Memorial Library.

Each year, the Chamber presents its Citizen and Civic Leader of the Year awards and inducts businesses into the Montevallo Business Hall of Fame. Other community groups present awards at the picnic as well.

This year, the Chamber named Tim Alexander Civic Leader of the Year. Alexander works at the Montevallo Police Department and has made an impression on the community with his tireless service to the public and the department.

“It’s not the size of Tim’s rather impressive muscles that makes you want to do anything to help him, it’s the even more impressive size of Tim’s heart. That’s not so easily visible, but spend a little time around him, and it becomes quite evident,” presenter Bill Lawson said. “He simply cares about people. Every aspect of community life has been touched by Tim.”

The chamber named Frida Shivers Citizen of the Year. Shivers retired from UM in 2009 and started the Montevallo Boys and Girls Club, which serves 70 students with after-school activities and care.

“She tirelessly and almost singlehandedly sought out representatives of the Boys and Girls Club of America and pitched the idea of a club in our community,” Lawson said. “It was a tough time to start a club … If she caught you standing still, you were going to hear about the Boys and Girls Club in Montevallo.”

The 2017 Business Hall of Fame inductees included Benjamin A. Crunk Family Dentistry, Dixie Decorations and Czeskleba TV Service into the Montevallo Business Hall of Fame. Nominated businesses must have been in business for 15 years and active in community service and support of the Chamber of Commerce and its programs.

In addition to the Chamber’s presentations, there were civic groups who recognized outstanding community members.

Peggy Czrew of the Montevallo Civitan Club presented the Civitan of the Year Award to Emily Pendleton. Pendleton spent 32 years in public education, working at both Montevallo Elementary School and Montevallo Middle School. She is involved in numerous civic groups and clubs in the community.

“She has touched so many lives in Montevallo and served her community her entire life,” Czrew said.

Shelby Emergency Assistance selected the Cleveland family as Volunteer of the Year. SEA Executive Director Karen Pendleton shared a story of a time the Cleveland family came to deliver multiple bags of food to SEA’s food pantry and worked together to stock the shelves, an act of kindness the family made into a routine.

“Over the years, we’ve learned a lot from the Cleveland family. Such things as the importance of a family’s love, no matter how they came together; the importance of sharing your faith and values and the joy of giving,” Pendleton said.

The Boys and Girls Club of Montevallo presented the Partner of the Year award to Tom Cleckler. Shivers said Cleckler was instrumental in bringing the club to Montevallo, although at the time it seemed nearly impossible to start one in the area.

“Coach Cleckler is the kind of man who makes decisions with his heart, not always with his head,” Shivers said. “In spite of the fact that there was no logic involved, we have a club now.”

Dr. Steve Peters, Dean of the College of Fine Arts at the University of Montevallo presented the Good Neighbor Award to Melanie Poole. Her involvement with and support of the university merited the award. She is a founding member and president of the Friends of the College of Fine Arts.