The Poplarville Area Chamber of Commerce held its annual awards banquet on October 19 to recognize outstanding members of the Poplarville community.

Citizen of the Year was awarded to Dr. Carolyn Tedford. Tedford went from a GED to a Masters in Education and a Doctorate in Educational Leadership and Research from William Carey University.

She was chosen for the award because she is ready to take action when there is a need in the community. She served as president of the Poplarville Rotary Club for two terms and Deputy District Governor for the Rotary Club. She sits on many committees and organizations such as Paint the Town Pink, Blueberry Jubilee, Excel By 5, Women’s Kiwanis Club and many more.

The Volunteer of the Year went to Shirley Wiltshire. Wiltshire has been an active member of the Poplarville community for many years. She has been a member of the Poplarville Aldermen Council, Blueberry Jubilee, Woman’s Club and serves wherever there is need. She volunteers for events at the First Baptist Church in Poplarville, organizes events to raise funds for missions, and brings food to trapped people and others. She is generous enough to drive people to doctor’s appointments, and she has organized a sewing group that creates dresses and other items for those in need.

Police Officer of the Year was awarded to John Ashley Lambert. Lambert is an exceptional officer who always goes above and beyond. He is ready to step in without hesitation whenever he needs it.

The Firefighter of the Year went to Joshua Stockstill. Stockstill was a part-time firefighter for the Poplarville Fire Department for six years and was a volunteer before that. He is a full-time supervisor for the Georgia Pacific Mill Fire Department. It always reports calls, even on a day off, when it is necessary to respond to important incidents. He has a lot of training and education and is a CPR instructor for the department. As a lifetime resident of Poplarville, he helps new firefighters from other areas get to know the community. He has been on several very sensitive calls this year and has helped comfort and mentor those involved. The Poplarville Chamber of Commerce says Stockstill is a real asset to the community.

City Worker of the Year was awarded to several employees of the Poplarville Public Works Department, including Samuel E. Hale, Oscar Bolton, Seneca White, Colton L Kopszwa, Terrance A. Forrest, Benton C. Davis, Darius D. Threats and Jonathan Swain. The men have been described as the backbone of the town of Poplarville. They are on call 24/7 to keep the city running during pandemic, hurricanes, thunderstorms, heat waves, floods and the rare snow and ice storms. Because of their dedication and commitment, the city’s water system is safe and the streets are kept clear.

The future leader of the year was awarded to Donavan Minor. Minor is in his final year at Poplarville High School. He is a member of the Poplarville High School soccer team and an outstanding student.

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