When Jack Funk of A-2-Z Promotional Products was making the plaque for the fourth annual Citizen of the Year banquet, he didnâ€™t know a little secret was being kept from him.
As instructed, he filled the order by putting Jill Feldmeyerâ€™s name on the plaque; Feldmeyer is owner of Fit Dimension. Then, like many other east Lincoln residents, he attended the banquet Thursday night at Verdict Ridge Country Club.
It wasnâ€™t until Patsy Black (last yearâ€™s Citizen of the Year winner for her work making Relay for Life a success) stood up to present this yearâ€™s award did Funk discover the plaque was a fake.
The secret that was so hard to keep was finally revealed.
â€œItâ€™s you, Jack, you are the citizen of the year,â€ Black exclaimed. â€œWe couldnâ€™t very well put your name on the plaque since you made it, now could we!â€
The room burst into laughter and everyone cheered as Funk rose from his seat to accept the award.
â€œThis is quite a surprise,â€ he said.
Funk, who runs A-2-Z Promotional Products in Denver, has lived in the community for 15 years.
â€œI love every minute of it and I welcome the opportunity to give back to the community,â€ he said.
The Citizen of the Year award honors an individual who has improved the quality of life in east Lincoln.
Funk is involved in many organizations and groups, including the Denver Area Business Association, the Lincolnton/Lincoln County Chamber of Commerce and his church, Lakeshore Presbyterian.
He is a member of the Denver/Lake Norman Rotary and is chairman of community service. He is also a member of the East Lincoln Advisory board with the Lincoln Economic Development Association.
Funk was also chairman of the art auction held in February as well as chairman of the Chamber of Commerce business expo held at the James W. Warren Citizens Center earlier this year.
â€œJack is not a person that is known to just take on the job,â€ Black said. â€œWhen you ask him to do something he gives it 200 percent.â€
â€œHe is just an asset to the community,â€ she added.
Two other awards were presented this year, including the Volunteer of the Year and the Community Group of the Year.
The Volunteer of the Year was given to Jim Scott of Westport for his 25 years of hard work with the East Lincoln Optimist Club.
Scott was not able to be present at the banquet since being recently diagnosed with lung cancer.
Ray Cloninger, a member of the Denver/Lake Norman Rotary club and a friend of Scott, accepted the award on his behalf.
The Community Group of the Year was presented to brothers Doug and Dave Rohr for their work with Cub Scout Pack 83 of Hills Chapel United Methodist Church. The cub pack was founded 13 years ago.
The event was sponsored by the Denver Lake Norman Rotary Club, DABA and the East Lincoln Betterment Association.
by Amy Wadsworth