Local volunteer wins top chamber award

By Argen Duncan: PNT Senior Writer

A longtime Habitat for Humanity volunteer received the Roosevelt County Chamber of Commerce’s top award for the year, and a local family won recognition for improving property.

Joyce Davis, who is active in many service projects, was named the 2009 Workhorse of the Year at the Chamber’s annual banquet Thursday night at First United Methodist Church. The award, first given in 1964, recognizes “outstanding involvement in the community,” according to the chamber.

Max and June Merrick received the Harley and Faye Borden Memorial Award, which recognizes improvements on the appearance of businesses.

Chamber executive director Sharon King said the awards committee chose Davis because of the things she’s done for the community.

“And she’s one of those people who does it from her heart, not for recognition, so we felt like she was a worthy recipient,” King, who sat in on committee meetings, said.

Davis has served as volunteer executive director of Habitat for Humanity for 11 years and taken on many tasks within the organization.

At First United Methodist Church, Davis sings in the choir, teaches Sunday School, helps with the Community Thanksgiving Dinner and more.

Davis also works with the Juarez Prison Ministry to help provide meals to prisoners and needy people there. She has collected toys and food for children in Juarez as well, according to the Chamber.

“It’s pretty overwhelming,” Davis said of receiving her award. “I never ever, ever thought I would be considered.

So many people have helped with the things she’s done, that it doesn’t seem appropriate to honor only one person, Davis said.

Davis said she enjoys everything she does and Habitat is a real mission.

“Housing is really important to me, and I know how hard it is for families who don’t have housing,” she said.

King said the Merricks have made a big difference by building the strip mall that houses Sleep Solutions Retail Center and remodeling two other buildings.

“As a family, they’ve just done a great deal to improve our businesses,” she said.

Bobby Hamilton, the Merricks’ son-in-law who manages Sleep Solutions, said the family was excited about the award.

“We’re glad to help improve the look of this block here and hope to be able to help people in town,” he said.

Hamilton said he hopes the efforts will bring more businesses to Portales.