Poplarville Area Chamber of Commerce holds awards banquet

Published 7:00 am Friday, October 12, 2018

Members of the Poplarville community recognized this year’s Firefighter of the Year, Police Officer of the Year, Volunteer of the Year, City Employee of the Year and Citizen of the Year at the annual Poplarville Area Chamber of Commerce Awards Banquet held on Thursday.

During the event, Dr. Adam Breerwood, the president of Pearl River Community College, and Andy Swoger president and CEO of Keesler Federal Credit Union spoke to the crowd before the winners were announced.

This year’s winners are Donald D’Antonio for Firefighter of the Year, Chris McGinnis as Police Officer of the Year, John Hancock as City Employee of the Year, Alex Shook as Volunteer of the Year and Susan Fuller as Citizen of the Year.

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Poplarville Fire Chief Jonathan Head said D’Antonio has been with the department for the past six years, three of which were as a volunteer. Head said that since he hired D’Antonio, the firefighter has gone above and beyond his duties and went on to become a certified fire instructor and the department’s training coordinator.

Police Chief Butch Raby said he choose McGinnis for the award because of his efforts in the community working with children. McGinnis started in law enforcement as a correction officer with the Pearl River County Sheriff’s Department in 2001 and went on to become a DUI officer for that department and now the Poplarville Police Department. His work with children was recognized by the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Department, who helped Poplarville’s department start a program that provides teddy bears to children involved in stressful situations such as domestic violence calls or tragic situations.

Poplarville Mayor Rossie Creel said that Hancock was chosen for the award for his dedicated and hard working attitude. Hancock joined the city in 2004 and worked as a wastewater operator for a year before becoming the city’s water operator. April Grecho, vice president of the Poplarville Area Chamber of Commerce, said that Shook was chosen for his award due to his efforts to help keep the city clean. She said that during each Keep Poplarville Beautiful event, Shook brings a number of kids from his Pearl River County 4H program to assist with the citywide cleanup effort.

Jeff Brown, president of the Poplarville Area Chamber of Commerce said Fuller was selected for her award due to her continuing efforts to feed those in need within the community through meal delivery services to local shut-ins and through her work with Brother’s Keeper.