Shelby County Chamber honors locals, nonprofits during annual Diamond Awards

Published 3:48 pm Tuesday, December 12, 2023

By NOAH WORTHAM | Staff Writer

COLUMBIANA – The Shelby County Chamber recently honored multiple people and organizations who work to make the county a better place during its 2023 Shelby County Diamond Awards Luncheon.

This year’s edition of the awards took place on Thursday, Dec. 7 at the Shelby County Arts Council and provided a chance for the chamber to honor the nominees and recipients for “Non-Profit,” “Public Servant” and “Citizen of the Year.”

“Selflessness is the act or preoccupation without own’s own interest, the advancement or interest of others, the attentiveness to the needs of others (and) the act of being unselfish,” said Niki Mathews, branch manager for Alabama Credit Union and speaker for the luncheon. “The Diamond Awards were created to honor those who have displayed this characteristic in some form throughout the year and have ultimately made a positive impact on our county.”

During the awards luncheon, Dr. Terry Sutton was recognized as the 2023 Citizen of the Year.

Sutton led partnership over the city of Montevallo, the University of Montevallo and Montevallo First Baptist Church in collecting and distributing items to the hurricane victims of Alabama. He opened his church facilities as a warming station for the Montevallo community and provides annual storage for Feed the Hungry of Montevallo.

Helena Mayor Brian Puckett was recognized during the luncheon as the 2023 Public Servant of the Year.

Puckett earned a professional designation of Advanced Certified Municipal Official from the Alabama League of Municipalities. He was just one of 35 municipal leaders to earn the designation in 2023.

The final award went to Shelby Emergency Assistance, which was named as the 2023 Non-Profit of the Year.

In 2022, 326 individuals were assisted by Shelby Emergency Assistance and 873 individuals were helped with utility assistance. In 2022, 125 dentist visits were provided and 105 individuals were assisted with medical needs. In 2018, Shelby emergency Assistance opened shower facilities in Shelby County to help the homeless and the non-profit’s food pantry serves hundreds of people each month and during the holidays the organization provides Christmas to more than 200 children.

“Whether or not you are selected as the recipient of this year’s award, to be nominated in of itself is an honor because that says that you or your organization is making a lasting impact on someone’s life. So, I want to congratulate you all,” Mathews said.

The following individuals were recognized as 2023 Citizen of the Year nominees:

  • Julie Evans
  • Danny Sample
  • Chris Strickland
  • Terry Sutton

The following individuals were recognized as 2024 Public Servant of the Year nominees:

  • Lindsey Allison
  • Matt Casey
  • Charissa Cole
  • Maurice Mercer
  • Brian Puckett

The Following organizations were recognized as 2023 Non-Profit of the Year nominees:

  • The ARC of Shelby County
  • Blanket Fort Hope
  • Chelsea Masonic Lodge No. 886
  • Hands and Feet of Jesus
  • Hargis Christian Camp
  • The Jimmie Hale Mission
  • King’s Home
  • Liberty Learning Foundation
  • Middle Alabama Area Agency on Aging
  • Montevallo Main Street
  • Safe House of Shelby County
  • Sav-A-Life Shelby
  • Shelby County Arts Council
  • Shelby Emergency Assistance