Oh, sure, the crowd got to hear an informative and entertaining speech from Texas Agricultural Commissioner Todd Staples. Not only can he deliver a great speech, but he also knows how to make an entrance by handing over a $150,000 grant to the Beeville Main Street Program earlier that afternoon.
As always, the evening is about celebrating community from recognizing volunteers and corporate contributors with the grand culmination being the naming of the citizen of the year.
As it turned out this year’s citizen of the year, Johnny Galloway provided a working demonstration of his contributions throughout the banquet.
A fourth generation Bee Countian, Galloway’s body of work in this community is massive without question:
– A longtime volunteer and supporter for the Junior Livestock & Homemakers Show and Beeville Little League;
– Served 10 years on the City Council, including presiding as mayor;
– Active in Boy Scouts, the United Way, Chamber of Commerce, Kiwanis and Rotary;
– Director, First National Bank, and appointed by the governor to the Nueces River Authority board;
– Earned the state extension service’s Master Gardener designation and volunteers as such;
– Active member of St. Joseph’s Catholic Church and former Mardi Gras King;
– And comforter to so many in his vocation as director of Galloway & Sons Funeral Home.
Now, that body of work would stand on its own as justification for the citizen of the year award, but those in attendance were treated to an first hand demonstration of what Galloway brings to the community.
You see, the Galloway family has always reached out to youth in Beeville and beyond – particularly in the FFA programs. One of those youths they befriended was a 15-year-old out of Palestine, Texas, named Todd Staples. Now the ag commissioner, Staples shared with the audience how he’d travel to stock shows with the entire Galloway family and come to visit them, staying at their house and dining at their table. Staples noted that now that he had the chance, he wanted to pass along opportunities to youngsters just as he’d seen the Galloway family do for him all those years ago.
That’s pretty strong testimony for a citizen of the year candidate and that was before the award had even been announced.
Clearly when it comes to Bee County and its youths, Johnny Galloway has always been a grand champion.