To a packed house the Bridge City Chamber of Commerce held their 53rd annual banquet Monday evening to announce their awards for the year.

This year, the citizen of the year is Jimmy Scales. Before he started his acceptance speech he asked his family members to stand up. The group of about 20 people stood and Scales continued his speech by thanking his parents for the way he was raised.

“My parents instilled in us it is better to give than to receive,” he said.

But, Scales said he could not do any of this without the support of his wife of 39 years, Donna.

He concluded his brief speech by saying,”It’s a great honor and privilege and I thank you.”

Scales was recognized for his devotion to the community. He is the co-owner of Scales Construction and Scales Portable Buildings. Throughout the years he has served as a past board member of the Bridge City Little League, Bridge City Pony League and the Bridge City Youth Baseball League. He contributed to the founding of the Bridge City High School Booster Club and the Bridge City Athletic Booster Club. He is also active with the Orange County  chapter of the American Red Cross and is currently serving as a board member and past president. He is also serving as a director and vice president for the Orange County Drainage District.

The nominees for the Business of the Year were Advanced Dental, Bridge City Bank and KOGT. Gary Stelly with KOGT was chosen as the winner. It is Stelly’s 20th year with KOGT. The radio station provides local news in addition to coverage of local high school sports.

Gary Stelly of KOGT was awarded business of the year.

There were three criteria chamber members where searching for when choosing a winner. They looked for longevity, being a chamber member and giving back to the community. Stelly approached the podium and told onlookers he was so surprised that he didn’t have anything to say, but stated he could not be any prouder to have won. He also acknowledged other media at the banquet and commented on the hard work needed to provide the community with the news.

“We all do all we can to serve everybody in Orange County,” Stelly said.

He added when they started the website it was not something he thought they would ever do.

The Honorary Lifetime Ambassador of the Year was given to the family members of

BCCC Ambassador Shirely Zimmerman presents Beverly Perry with the Lifetime Ambassador Award.

who died in November after a bout with cancer. While working at KOGT she is said to have “represented KOGT with grace and style.” In addition, Hamilton was not just an ambassador of Bridge City, but of the community.

“If mom were here, she would be in her words, ‘tickled pink,’’’ said her son Kevin.

Beverly Perry was awarded as the Lifetime Ambassador. In addition, Jerry McInnis was given the Ambassador of the Year award.

BCCC 2012 ‘Amassador of the Year’ Jerry McInnis is seen with his grandaughter Sarah and daughter Amy Kidder who attended the banquet to see him receive the award.

“ I honestly believe we do things for the sake of doing them and not for the awards,” McInnis said.

The chamber of commerce also gave out their quarterly awards to their outstanding ambassadors. Receiving awards were Elyse Thibodeaux, Lucy Fields, Dave Derosier and Marcie Messer-Hudson.

In conclusion , the final award was given to outgoing Ambassador Chair Shirley Zimmerman for her hard work and dedication to the chamber and the community. Scot Schafer is the incoming Ambassador Chair.

Pictured above: Jimmy Scales addresses the assembly as the Bridge City Chamber of Commerce ‘Citizen of the Year.’ RECORD PHOTOS: Mark Dunn