Chamber names annual county honorees

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 The Washington County Chamber of Commerce held its annual awards banquet on Thursday night at Mordecai’s restaurant in Springfield where several local residents were honored for their contributions to the community throughout the years. Awards included the lifetime achievement award, citizen of the year, young leader of the year, agriculture lifetime achievement award, agriculture leader of the year and the sidewalk hall of fame.

Lifetime achievement

Douglas M. George was recognized for more than 30 years of dedicated service to Washington County. The Marion County native moved to WC in 1979, opening a law office and starting a long, prestigious law career in Springfield.

George served as district and circuit judge for Washington County and has held various titles within the Lions Club. He was instrumental in the progression of the judicial center, which was built in 2009.

“He was involved from the ground up,” said award presenter JoAnne Mudd-Miller. “Everything that makes up that building now, he has contributed to.”

George has been heavily involved in the community, including coaching youth sports and a stint as athletic director at St. Dominic School.

Citizen of the year

Willisburg Mayor Pat Kirsch was named the citizen of the year for her extensive work in the northern Washington County community through the years.

Kirsch, who was elected as Willisburg’s first female mayor in 2011, had a big hand in the town’s recent additions of a medical center and Dollar Store. She was also a member of the Willisburg city council prior to taking over as mayor.

Kirsh was also instrumental in bringing a city hall to the community.

Young leader of the year

The young leader of the year, Washington County High School senior Will Begley, has been a part of many groups in the county, including the student council, governor’s scholar program, teen leadership, vice president of 4-H and president of the National Honor Society. Begley is also a member of the Army Reserve teen panel.

“It’s special when you have a young person like this and it’s very special when you’re able to award that person at an event like this,” said presenter Ryan New.

Ag achievement

Joe Bill Homan was honored with the agriculture lifetime achievement award at last week’s banquet.

Homan grew up in Washington County during the great depression and has managed a farm his entire life since. He has served as a member of the Washington County Conservation Board and is the current director of the Farm Bureau Board.

Homan and his son, Tom, still work together to maintain the family farm today.

Ag leader of the year

James Osbourne and his wife, Tara, were the winners of the ag leader of the year award. James began his own farming operation in 1998 and bought 70 acres from his father a year later. The Osbournes now have more than 4,000 acres across seven Kentucky counties, growing corn, soybeans, wheat, tobacco, etc. James is a Campbellsville University graduate and Tara is an Eastern Kentucky University grad with a master’s from the University of Louisville.

Sidewalk hall of fame

The sidewalk hall of fame wasn’t dedicated to just one person this year, instead being awarded to Springfield State Bank, which celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2011.

The bank has locations in Springfield, Mackville and Willisburg and employs 41 full-time employees.

“The bank continues to be an integral part of the community, with officers, employees and board members working on various community boards, including SWEDA, the library board, the airport board and the health department, among others,” said presenter Douglas George.

Springfield State Bank contributes to various events and organizations throughout Washington County yearly, including a total of more than $1.5 million in donations to St. Catharine College.