Montevallo celebrates ‘Hometown Heroes’ at 10th annual breakfast

By EMILY SPARACINO / Staff Writer 

MONTEVALLO – The 10th annual Hometown Heroes Breakfast on Oct. 11 at the American Village highlighted more than a dozen honorees for their achievements and contributions to the city.

In her opening remarks, Mayor Hollie Cost noted the high caliber of those being recognized, including students from various grade levels, public servants from different departments and residents who grew up in Montevallo before landing prestigious roles in other areas.

Junior Mayor Abigail Heuton presented Excellence in Education awards to:

  • Kymberlee Lewis, Montevallo Elementary School
  • Nate Haynie, SGA president, Montevallo Elementary School
  • Peggy Huckabaa, Montevallo Middle School
  • Ben Locks, SGA president, Montevallo Middle School
  • Gregory Dickinson, Montevallo High School
  • Chaniya Reed, SGA president, Montevallo High School

“Every year it is amazing to see the amount of leaders we have in the community and the schools,” Heuton said. “Everyone has the potential to be a leader, regardless of age or background. You just need to find a place.”

Cost presented Excellence in Education awards to:

  • Coty Jones, University of Montevallo
  • Leonor Vázquez-González, University of Montevallo
  • Olivia Eldridge, SGA president, University of Montevallo

Retired Montevallo Fire Chief Bill Reid accepts his Recognition of Service award from Mayor Hollie Cost. (Contributed/Avery Morgan Lawley Photography)

Cost presented the Recognition of Service to newly retired Montevallo Fire Chief Bill Reid.

Reid served as fire chief for 22 of his 49 years with the Montevallo Volunteer Fire Department.

“It is my great honor to present him with a key to the city,” Cost said, proclaiming Oct. 11 as Bill Reid Day in Montevallo. “We truly wouldn’t be where we are without you. Thank you so much, Bill.”

Following Reid’s Oct. 1 retirement, Brad Davis assumed the responsibilities of fire chief.

Cost presented the Elizabeth A. Mahler Spirit of Montevallo Award to Terry Arnold, whose family has been instrumental in the formation of Shoal Creek Park.

Arnold and his wife, Sarah, made a sizable donation to the city to fund one of the park’s bridges over Shoal Creek and name it the Frank Arnold Bridge in memory of their son.

The 2019 Hometown Hero Award recipients were:

  • Katie Campbell, who works in the office of U.S. Sen. Doug Jones
  • Korey Cunningham, an offensive tackle for the New England Patriots
  • Keldric Farrington, a Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office deputy
  • Campbell Robertson, a national correspondent for The New York Times

The event’s keynote speaker was Lindsay Puckett with the Regional Planning Commission of Greater Birmingham, which will lead the process of updating Montevallo’s comprehensive plan.

Puckett shared an overview of Montevallo’s history, noting she has an ancestor who was a part of the making of the city.