Matt Lasley | GC News-Gazette Leitchfield Mayor William Thomason, right, was announced Thursday as the inaugural inductee into the Grayson County Chamber of Commerce Hall of Fame for his more than three decades of service to his community. He is pictured accepting his award from current Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors President Steven Smith.

Matt Lasley | GC News-Gazette

Leitchfield Mayor William Thomason, right, was announced Thursday as the inaugural inductee into the Grayson County Chamber of Commerce Hall of Fame for his more than three decades of service to his community. He is pictured accepting his award from current Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors President Steven Smith.

The Grayson County Chamber of Commerce held its annual membership dinner and awards ceremony Thursday night at Rough River Dam State Resort Park.

The evening saw members of the Chamber recognize numerous businesses and individuals for their accomplishments and work to improve the community and economy of Grayson County.

Topping the list of award winners was Leitchfield Mayor William Thomason, who will conclude his more than 23 years as Mayor in January and, on Thursday, was named the inaugural inductee into the Grayson County Chamber of Commerce Hall of Fame by his longtime City Clerk/Treasurer Kerry White.

Thomason started on the Leitchfield City Council in 1982 and has served as Mayor since Oct. 1, 1994, when then-Mayor Sherrill Watson suffered a medical issue, and Thomason took over as interim Mayor. Thomason then served as interim Mayor until Watson stepped down in April of 1995, when Thomason took over the position permanently. He has served as Mayor ever since.

White said Thomason's community service does not end at Leitchfield City Hall, however.

From 1960 to 1964, he served in the U.S. Marine Corps, and he also serves on a variety of boards, including the Leitchfield Utilities Commission and the Grayson County Fair Board, as well as the Leitchfield Lions Club. He has also given 19 years of service to the Chamber of Commerce.

White commended Thomason on the "many things he does behind the scenes," as well, such as personally paying the utility bills of city residents on the shut-off list, and his refusal to miss meetings, with the exception of two during his more than 30 years of public service.

"For him, his service to the community is about service to others," said White. "It's not about the money."

White said Thomason's actions will resonate for many years to come, and that Leitchfield's next Mayor "does have tremendous shoes to fill."

"I'd call them a size 24 for your almost 24 years of service," said White. "Well done, good and faithful servant."

After receiving his award, Thomason stepped up to the podium to address the Chamber members and said that his years of service have passed quickly but he is grateful for the community and Watson for entrusting the Mayor's position to him.

The remaining awards were presented as follows:

Grayson County Sheriff Norman Chaffins presented the 2018 Community Service Award to his longtime friend and colleague, Grayson County Judge Executive Kevin Henderson, whom the Sheriff called a breath of fresh air for not only his office but the county as a whole.

Accepting the award, Henderson thanked his family, the citizens of Grayson County, and its public officials for their faith in him, and said that, "For the first time that I can remember, we all get along. It's amazing what you can accomplish when you get along."

Leitchfield Tourism Commissioner Anthony Miller presented the 2018 Spark Plug Award to Grayson County Tourism Executive Director Anya Turpin for her tireless dedication to promoting Grayson County and to establishing a local trail system.

Grayson County Detention Center Programs Director Gail Basham presented the 2018 Twin Lakes Award to Grayson County Jailer Jason Woosley, whom accepted on behalf of the Grayson County Detention Center, which is one of only two jails in the state that is self-supporting and the only jail that is self-supporting without the benefit of a tax.

Bob Hatfield, of Wilson & Muir Bank & Trust Co., presented the 2018 Agriculture Award to Grayson County native Warren Beeler, a livestock farmer since 1980 and current executive director of the Governor's Office of Agriculture Policy.

Twin Lakes Regional Medical Center CEO Wayne Meriwether presented the 2018 Medical Award to Dr. Kenneth Green, whom, in addition to his successful private practice, also operates as the local hospital's Medical Director.

Sharon Edgley, of Snap Fitness, presented the 2018 Small Business Award to the owners of the Leitchfield Snap Fitness, Karla and Ed Stivers, whose business has recruited more than 1,000 members and recently opened a new location on William Thomason Byway.

Grayson County Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors President Steven Smith, of The Cecilian Bank, recognized 2017 Chamber Board President Meriwether for his year of service with the 2018 Past President Award.

Grayson County Chamber of Commerce Director April Spalding recognized each of the Chamber's Ambassadors with keys to the city of Leitchfield for their service to the community. The ambassadors are, in alphabetical order by last name, Jenean Anderson, Heidi Baldwin, Linda Borland, Jaime Bratcher, Becky Escue, Angie Jones, Brad Mudd, Joyce Mudd, Carolyn Thomason, Kaytlin VanMeter, and Alfreda Weedman.

Lastly, Lisa Golden Smartt, a Grayson County native who performs comedic speaking engagements across the country, closed out the evening as the returning guest speaker.