The Greater Anna Chamber of Commerce held its annual Awards Banquet on Saturday. For 2014, the Chamber Board decided to hold the event at the Collin County Adventure Camp east of Anna. By most all accounts the decision was a wise one as the picturesque facility had plenty of space and a great view to complement a night of honors.

GACC Executive Director Sara Cox and Anna Mayor Mike Crist performed host duties. Along the way, Heather Zacny, of FreshIdeas Marketing Solutions introduced the Chamber’s new web site, which is expected to launch in the next one to two weeks.

Despite the stacked buffet and dessert table the real reason the room was full was the honoring of those who made an impact in the Anna community throughout the past year. There were eight awards handed out on the night, three of them voted on by the Chamber board. Those awards went to McDonald’s - The O’Reilly Group for New Business of the Year; SRE - Sudderth Real Estate for Business of the Year; and Collin County Adventure Camp for the Innovation Award.

The rest of the awards were voted on by the public. Ann Goad won the Volunteer of the Year Award. Amy Pratt, of Sue E. Rattan Elementary, was named Educator of the Year. Pin Oaks Christian Fellowship was selected as Community Partner of the Year. Business Person of the Year honors went to Duane "Hairtrigger" Hayes of Texas Star Bank.

The Citizen of the Year award is always highly anticipated as it recognizes "A person who has made contributions that touched the lives of the people in our area with a selfless spirit of service and giving more to our community than he or she could ever expect to get back," according to the Chamber program in a definition that nailed the honor. To help present the award was distinguished guest U.S. Congressman Sam Johnson. The winner of the Citizen of the Year award was Jim Rountree, who made his way to the front of the banquet hall to a standing ovation. Rountree, as humble a man as there is, seemed touched by the honor and the applause of the crowd.

Congratulations to Rountree and all the winners on this night.