Becky Gibbons received the first Gibbons Award Tuesday night, Feb. 18, 2020. The award is named in honor of Mayor Joe Gibbons and his wife, Becky.
Main Street staff and volunteers presented the award during the "I Heart Main Street" celebration held at 1841 Cafe. The celebration is a way to show appreciation for the time and hard work volunteers and staff invest in Downtown Lenoir. About 60 people attended the event.
Downtown Economic Development Director Kaylynn Horn said The Gibbons Award is a new program. The goal is to recognize people who contribute to the success of the City of Lenoir Main Street Program and downtown development.
"The Gibbons Award will honor people who have made extraordinary contributions to our downtown," Horn said. "It will recognize people who have gone the extra mile and made significant contributions to Downtown Lenoir."
Mayor Gibbons and Becky had no idea and award would be named in their honor. Becky Gibbons had no idea she would receive the very first Gibbons award. She was overwhelmed and speechless with the honor. Mayor Gibbons stepped up to say a few words on behalf of them both.
"We are overwhelmed, to say the least, but thank you so much for this, we truly love Lenoir, and we always will," Mayor Gibbons said. "We are proud to call Lenoir and Caldwell County our home. You know, without you guys, none of this would be possible. We are proud to be a part of it, but we couldn’t be where we are without everybody in this room.We’re all family, and that’s what makes Lenoir the great place it is."
Later in the evening, Becky said she was thankful for all the people who help make Lenoir a wonderful place to live.
"I am so overwhelmed and humbled by receiving this award," Becky said. "There are many, many people who give to our wonderful downtown, and I am thrilled to serve alongside them. I do love this community with all my heart and will continue to volunteer and do my best to make Lenoir an even better place to live."
About the award
The award is named after the Joe and Becky Gibbons. The couple has worked many years to help revitalize and invigorate Downtown Lenoir, Horn said.
Mayor Gibbon’s family owned Gibbons Electric Company for many decades. He played football for Lenoir High School and then Appalachian State University. He coached youth in Lenoir, and he has served on dozens of boards and organizations that serve the community.
Mayor Gibbons currently serves on 20 boards including Caldwell UNC Health Care, Caldwell Community College Foundation, Caldwell County Schools Halls of Fame, Blue Ridge Energy Community Leaders Council, Oasis Shriners; and Hibriten Masonic Lodge #262. He has received the 2018 L.A Dysart Man of the Year award; the 2016 Order of the Long Leaf Pine, and the 1980 Foothills Shriner of the Year award.
"Mayor Gibbons is passionate about seeing Downtown Lenoir and the City as a whole grow and prosper," Horn said. "He is a fantastic cheerleader for the City and its people. He loves Lenoir and is always willing to promote Downtown and help us whenever we ask."
Becky Gibbons’ family owned Rufty Photography Studio.. She taught second and third grade for 30 years. She has served on many community boards including the Wig Bank, Robins Nest, Helping Hands, the Lenoir Service League, UNC Caldwell Hospital Foundation Galas, and Java Jewels. Becky received the L.A Dysart Woman of the Year in 2016.
Becky Gibbons also serves on the Main Street Program’s Promotion and Volunteer Development teams.
"Without Becky, many of our events would not be nearly so great," Horn said. "She helps organize Light Up Lenoir. She recruits children to sing on stage during various events. She helps organize the People’s Choice BBQ during Smoking In The Foothills, the Pumpkin Patch Halloween activities, and so much more. There’s no way we could do everything we do without Becky."
The award was designed and constructed by the WNC Sculpture Center in Happy Valley. The gears, part of the Downtown Lenoir brand, represent the idea that people have to work together to succeed. Click here to visit www.wncsculpture.org and learn more about the center.
Click here to visit DowntownLenoirNC.com.