50 years of ‘unsung heroes’ will be celebrated in May

Published 5:50 pm Wednesday, April 6, 2016

John Sullen was the recipient of the “Unsung Hero” award and trophy during the 2013 banquet hosted by the Chilton County Auburn Club. (File Photo)

John Sullen was the recipient of the “Unsung Hero” award and trophy during the 2013 banquet hosted by the Chilton County Auburn Club. (File Photo)

The Chilton County Auburn Club will hold its 50th annual “Unsung Hero” Banquet on May 13.

The event will be held at the Clanton Conference and Performing Arts Center at Jefferson State Community College and is scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m.

According to Chilton County Auburn Club President Cassie Bolling, the purpose of the banquet is to honor a member of the Auburn University family that has offered their time and service without recognition.

The recipient is given a trophy that was originally designed by Mike Cooper, who has been a member of the Chilton County Auburn Club since 1975.

Cooper has spent time as club president in 1989 and 2007 and has witnessed the growth of the banquet.

According to Cooper, recipients used to be given a check for $500. However, the NCAA said awarding money was no longer allowed.

During his stint as president in 1989, Cooper was influential in developing the trophy that is still awarded today.

“[Recipients] are gracious of the award, and a few tears are definitely shed,” Cooper said. “They appreciate the honor.”

Jonathan Wallace is this year’s recipient after he served as a backup quarterback for the Auburn football team from 2012-2014 before transitioning to the wide receiver position as a senior in 2015.

Wallace has received awards in the past for his community service efforts around the Auburn area.

Guest speaker at the event will be newly named Auburn receivers coach Kodi Burns.

Bolling advised people to arrive early to the event for photo opportunities. This will be the first year that it will be held at CPAC.

“We are expecting a larger number of people with it being the 50th anniversary,” Bolling said. “All of the past ‘unsung heroes’ have been invited back.”

According to Cooper, former recipients in attendance will be allowed to stand up and give a background of where they currently are in life.

“We’re gong to let them have the stage,” Cooper said.

As is the case with the majority of events hosted by the Chilton County Auburn Club, the proceeds will help raise money for the club’s scholarship fund.

Each year a pair of scholarships are awarded to high school seniors who graduate from a county high school and will continue their education at Auburn University.

Tickets to the event are $40 for the general public and $30 for those that have already paid their activity fee with the club.

For more information visit www.auburnclubs.org/group/chiltoncountyauburnclub or call (205) 937-0660.

“If you love Auburn, you are invited to come,” Bolling said.

 Past honorees

 1966: John McAfee

1967: Ray Cox, Q.V. Lowe and “Pete” McKenzie

1969: Mary Clyde Huff

1970: Connie Frederick

1971: Alvin Bresler, “Shug” Jordan and “Jeff” Beard

1972: Dick Schmalz

1973: Mike Neel

1974: Roger Mitchell and Carl McDowell

1975: Mike Flynn

1976: Jim Pitts

1977: Scholarship Fund

1978: Rick Freeman

1979: Alan Hardin

1980: Mark Clement

1981: Bill Grisham

1982: Alan Bollinger

1983: Dennis Collier

1984: Al Del Greco and Greg Turner

1985: Coach Sonny Smith

1986: Kyle Collins

1987: Pat Mote and Tommy Agee

1988: Reggie Herring

1989: Frank Cox

1990: Larry Blakney

1991: Frank Young

1992: Paul Conner

1993: Herb Waldrop

1994: David Housel

1995: Joe Whitt

1996: Hal B. Baird Jr., Rachel Davis, Holly Mims and Harold Morrow

1997: Wes Flanigan

1998: Hicks Poor

1999: Brent Turner

2000: Jimmy Brumbaugh

2001: Alex Lincoln

2002: Hart McGary

2003: Buddy Davidson

2004: Chette Williams

2005: Jeremy Ingle

2006: Jake Slaughter

2007: Joe Cope

2008: Carl Stewart

2009: Tommy Tubberville

2010: Antonio Coleman

2011: Zach Etheridge

2012: Josh Harris

2013: John Sullen

2014: Craig Sanders

2015: Malcolm Canada