Chamber celebrates 2017

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Keynote speaker Priscilla Pate talked with Madison County Chamber of Commerce members about vision, and it was clear on Friday, as two very deserving members of the community received awards for Man and Woman of the Year.

Also honored at the annual event was the man who was called the Moses of Madison County, Lanier Stevens.

Jesse Jaenicke and Mary Dorris were honored for their contributions to the community, and received their awards from last year's winners.

In honoring Dorris, Dawn Knight said she was the most community-minded person she knew.

Knight said Dorris was a member of the board of Oak Ridge Country Club, and now serves as vice president. She also was a member of the Arts Council, the Texas Mushroom Festival, SonShine and Rufus Refuge, and has been dedicated to each and every cause.

Herbert Gilbert that anyone who needed Jaenicke anywhere, anytime, he was there, lending a hand, especially if that needed lights and sound for events, including the Texas Mushroom Festival, Shop & Stroll and the Christmas Parade.

While Dorris and Jaenicke received well-deserved honors, the night was dedicated to a man deemed the pastor of Madison County.

Long-time friend Dennis Ivey said Stevens was the best friend he's had.

"From Day 1, he took an interest in me," Ivey said. "Heaven knows the amount of lives he touched. I believe he was sent to the people of Madison County."

Stevens always listened, and always cared, and when you spoke with him, you were the most important thing, Ivey said.

"Madison County's Moses has died, but what he started will go on," he said.

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