A packed house was on hand at the Carroll Green Civic for the Greater Quitman Area Chamber of Commerce annual banquet Thursday night. Community leader Sam Scroggins was named the Citizen of the Year at the annual event.
Last year’s Citizen of the Year, Denea Hudman, made the announcement honoring Scroggins. “His lifelong passion has been about service to others through his leadership and a vision for making a difference in our world.”
Scroggins was born and raised in Sherman. He majored in mathematics at the University of Texas at Arlington and he has worked as operations manager for Southwest Computer Operations, Dallas, manager of Northeast Computer Center in Princeton, New Jersey, and manager of corporate tele-communications worldwide. Scroggins and his wife, Martha, moved to the area, living at Lake Winnsboro while opening a business in Quitman.
Since moving into the area, Scroggins has been active in many organizations. He is a member and former chairman of the Wood County Industrial Commission, chairman of Quitman Chamber of Commerce, board member of Lake Fork Chamber of Commerce and charter member of Lake Fork Sportsman’s Association. He is a member of the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Hall of Fame.
Scroggins is currently the administrative assistant at First United Methodist Church Quitman, an active member of the Child Welfare Protection Board and a member of Quitman Rotary Club. In the past he has received the Quitman Pilot Club’s Humanitarian Award and last year was honored as the Mason’s Community Builder.
“He is an Eagle Scout, he’s a Navy veteran, and one of his greatest treasures has been his marriage to his lovely wife Martha for the last 39 years. Ladies and gentlemen it is truly my honor and privilege to present to you the Citizen of the Year, Mr. Sam Scroggins,” Hudman declared.
Scroggins was moved by the award. “I am literally in shock. Martha and I came to this part of the country back in 1992. We purchased a house on Lake Winnsboro for a weekend retreat, a place to hang out,” Scroggins noted. “We hung out so much we decided it was time to move here so we picked up stakes in Dallas and moved this direction. We opened up an embroidery shop over by the Tea Room. Dr. John Wisdom and Joanne talked to us about joining the chamber and I guess that was a start for the transition with us. We took this community seriously and absolutely fell in love with this community and so many of you in this room.
“It has been a privilege and an honor to be a part to be a part of this chamber, the Wood County Industrial Commission, the Child Welfare and Protection Board, Rotary and Lake Fork Sportsman Association and all the other things we have been able to participate in. I never expected this. I am so proud of it. Thank you Quitman, thank you chamber, and thank you citizens who voted on this. It is appreciated. “
Several awards were given throughout the evening. The Clergy of the Year honor went to Cody Mize, pastor of Cartwright Baptist Church. Mize was the principal at Quitman High School before taking on his current role as superintendent of the Winona School District. Brad Wilson and Dr. Greg Eberhardt each received the Beautification Award for work done at their respective places of business. Wilson and Eberhardt each have made significant remodeling efforts on their properties just south of the downtown square.
Other awards were the Community Service Award to the Quitman Pilot Club; Humanitarian Award, Janet Turner (given by the Pilot Club); Community Spirit Award, Larry Tucker; Mason’s Builder Award, Toni Cole; Small Business Award, Speakeasy Coffeehouse and Kelly Kieke; Large Business Award, True Value Hardware and William Thompson and Quitman Police Officer of the Year, Austin Milburn.
East Texas Medical Center Quitman gave three awards. The Volunteer of the Year went to Debbie Keenan; Caregiver of the Year, Michelle Ritter and Physician of the Year, Dr. Norman Hicks. Quitman School District honored their Educators of the Year. Julie Sandifer received the high school award with Melissa Coats getting the junior high school award and Rhonda Henderson receiving the elementary campus award.