The North Augusta Chamber of Commerce held its annual meeting and banquet Monday night, presenting the 2013 Citizen of the Year honor to the founder of an organization dedicated to helping those with special needs.
Pam Stickler received the chamber’s top award for establishing The RECing Crew, an organization formed in 2002 that gives children and adults with special needs the opportunity to participate in leisure and recreational programs such as bowling, art, chorus, sports and monthly social activities.
Stickler started the group when she moved to North Augusta so that her son, who has cerebral palsy, could have an avenue for recreational activities. Last year, she helped design an adaptive playground at Riverview Park in North Augusta.
The RECing Crew now assists 175 special-needs individuals.
Stickler said she was “overwhelmed” and “totally surprised” after walking up to the podium at the North Augusta Community Center to receive her plaque Monday night.
“I can’t do it without the support of the people from this community,” she said. “This community has always opened its doors to us. They’re always willing to help us.”
The banquet was originally scheduled for Feb. 13 but was postponed until Monday because of the ice storm. The theme for this year’s banquet was “Brilliance in business: unmask the possibilities.”
The chamber presented its 2013 Ambassador Award to volunteer Rick Berry, who serves on the board of directors for the North Augusta chapter of Habitat for Humanity.
“It was a well-deserved win for him” said Jessica Hanson, the chamber’s director of member services. “He’s really good at making connections in the community.”
Walker Posey of Posey Funeral Directors in North Augusta was the guest speaker. U.S. Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., was the original speaker but couldn’t make the rescheduled date.
Posey spoke to an audience of about 250 guests on what he said it takes to succeed in the business world: providing an authentic experience, understanding customers and employees, simplifying work tasks and empowering workers to use their intelligence.
“The quality of the workforce here and the quality of people is really special,” he said. “There are not always places that have this deep of talent. Be thankful for what you’ve got.”