Jane Copper named person of the year at annual Chamber Dinner

Kelly Paul, AY Editor

(Chamber of Commerce Annual Dinner 2014)

Jane Copper named person of the year at annual Chamber Dinner

Barlow - With two esteemed speakers celebrating history and community, the Ballard Chamber of Commerce recently held its annual dinner and honored two Ballard County women. The Chamber chose Jane Cooper as this year’s person of the year, and Cindy Martin, owner of Cindy’s Flowers and Gifts in La Center, received recognition for small business of the year.

History and Community took top billing during the recent annual Chamber of Commerce Dinner held at Ballard Memorial High School as keynote speakers Circuit Judge Christopher Shea Nickell and Justice Bill Cunninham headlined the event with insight into what makes Ballard County rich in history and community.

“History defines who we are and why we are who we are,” said Nickell as he explained how history navigates people to their current circumstances and into the future. For this reason, Nickell expressed the need to do a better job of teaching history to young people in Ballard County.

Judge Nickell brought along a portion of his collection of Alben Barkley memorabilia. In doing so, he was showing how someone with meager beginnings could aspire to great things. “He didn’t let the fact that he was born into poverty to cause him to fail,” said Nickell.

Judge Nickell also talked about individuals from Ballard County who have made a difference. Kenny and Phil Rollins, who both played in the NBA, were two such Wickliffe boys to whom Nickell made reference. Nickell also spoke about Sergeant Morris E. Crain, who was born in Bandana and played a pivotal role in WWII. In talking about the Medal of Honor Crain received for his valor and leadership, Nickell said, “We can use history as a tool to inspire youth to do more than they ever thought they could. Let the young people know why those people made a difference.”

Justice Bill Cunningham called for a need to celebrate Kentucky and Ballard County as Ballard is celebrating its 72nd birthday. “I don’t know of any other county that has more landmarks,” said Cunningham as he explained that landmarks and great people are the things that make a community great. He pointed to the metaphorical value of the Confluence of the rivers as several rivers actually flow into the Confluence. “It stands for you and our community as to what contribution they can do,” said Cunningham.

Regarding the winners of small business of the year and person of the year, Cunningham said they are to be honored for their contribution, large and small, to the community. He also encouraged everyone to hold fast to their dreams and celebrate their vision.