By DEUCE NIVEN
One of the state’s, and likely the nation’s longest serving educators, Everlene Davis was named Tabor City’s Outstanding Citizen of the Year during the 77th annual banquet of the Greater Tabor City Chamber of Commerce Tuesday.
Miranda Herring Thompkins received Volunteer of the Year during the catered dinner at The Ritz Center, new officers and board members were sworn, and Columbus Regional Healthcare System CEO Jason Beck delivered remarks that focused on partnerships and the importance of education to better healthcare outcomes.
Rev. Christian Grate, pastor of Freemont Missionary Baptist Church, said the event was love filled, and called on those in attendance to “project the love that you have experienced here tonight.”
Davis, honored in 2022 as parade marshals for both the Columbus County Fair and the North Carolina Yam Festival at Tabor City, quickly credited God for any success she’s enjoyed since becoming a teacher in 1956.
Lamont Grate, Tabor City’s Mayor pro tem and a former student of Davis’, noted that she also taught his mother, wife, children, and many more in the community.
Grate recalled that when Davis asked his children about his parents, she had praise for their mother, worry about the future town council member.
“I’ll pray for you, baby,” Grate said the veteran educator told his children. “Thank you for not giving up to me,” Grate said later, just before Davis rose to receive the plaque and Tabor Medal, which he hung around her neck.”
Ooh La La owner Miranda Thompkins was sworn to the chamber board during Tuesday’s banquet, but she’s been an active volunteer for years, outgoing President Marylou Molina said.
Molina described the volunteer award winner as “a dedicated volunteer with a giving heart.”
See much more on this story, and more of the week’s news in the latest Tabor-Loris Tribune in print and online.