(Cushing, Okla.)  The Cushing Chamber of Commerce & Industry held its 88th Annual Meeting at the Cushing-Drumright Elk’s Lodge Thursday, January 15th.

This year’s prestigious Cushing Lifetime Achievement Award went to Jim E. Hunter. A life-long member of the community and 1952 graduate of Cushing High School, Hunter has made serving his country and community a priority.

Shortly after graduation, Hunter joined the United States Marine Corp where he served for eight years – including the Korean War.  “Once a Marine, Always a Marine” has continued to be his mantra.

Other “titles” Hunter has had include: City Commissioner, Mayor of Cushing, member of the Cushing Housing and Industrial Authorities, as well as board member of the Cushing Daycare, Cushing Youth Center, Senior Citizen Center and Cushing United Fund.  He has also been a member of the Cushing Chamber of Commerce, Cushing Jaycees, Cushing Lions Club and Cushing Rotary Club.

Hunter’s list of accolades is long. In 2007, he received Rotary’s “Citizen of the Year” and in 2010 he was inducted into the CHS Alumni Hall of Fame.  Hunter was named Oklahoma American Legionnaire of the Year in 2006 and received a proclamation from the Governor of Oklahoma declaring, April 20th, “Jim E. Hunter Day” in the state of Oklahoma.

In 2007, members of American Legion Post 108 bestowed the honor of having the Legion building named after Hunter.  A plaque can be found by the door frame of the Post building, which is on the state and national register of historic places.  When Post 108 was awarded Oklahoma Post of the Year 2009 – 2010, Hunter was the Post’s Commander.  By a unanimous vote of the membership in 2009, Hunter was proclaimed the “Honorary” Commander of Post 108 for life.  This honor is believed to be the only one of its type in the state.

Due to illness, Hunter was unable to attend Thursday night’s banquet to accept his award.  In preparation for the announcement, ProEvents filmed Hunter talking about his life and was able to play the video during the presentation.  Fellow Post member and long-time friend of Hunter Bill Cubbage accepted the award on his behalf.

Cubbage said he’d spoken with Hunter who said he was “humbled and very honored” to accept the award.

This year’s Volunteer of the Year award went to Brett Anderson.  Anderson has volunteered in many capacities, including emcee of BBQ n Blues and Festival in the Park.”I’m very appreciative,” Anderson said humbly, “but not very deserving.”

Anderson was also given the honor of “toasting and roasting” Brent Thompson who recently retired from Executive Director of the Cushing Chamber of Commerce.  Thompson spent 38 years in the chamber business.

DCA, Inc. was named the Business of the Year. Owner/founder Doug Carson thanked the membership saying, “I’m speechless and incredibly honored.”

DCA, Inc. is an innovative global company located in Cushing. To learn more about DCA, visit their website www.dcainc.com.

Special recognition went to LoveINC (Love In the Name of Christ) for what they do for the community.  Amy Jones, Executive Director of LoveINC accepted the award saying, “We can’t do anything without you. This is wonderful.”

LoveINC is a non-profit Christian organization that serves as a clearing house for services to those needing a hand up.  Their motto: “Showing God’s love to others because He first loved us.”

Megan Crumpton, 2014 President of the Chamber of Commerce, will continue to serve as President in 2015.  She gave a review of 2014 and a glimpse into what 2015 will hold for the Chamber and its members.

This year’s theme is “Champions for Change.” Crumpton said she agreed to the board’s request for her to continue to serve as president in hope of “fulfilling goals and completing projects” started in 2014.

Tracy Caulfield stepped into the position of Executive Director of the Cushing Chamber of Commerce after Brent Thompson retired December 31, 2014.  Caulfield had served as his assistant for approximately two years before taking the position.  Caulfield is married to Jimmy Caulfield and they have one son, Skyler.

Musical entertainment for the event was Scott Carson and Clay Jones.  Steer Inn catered the meal and floral table arrangements were provided by Wildflowers & Stuff.  Rev. Kathy Leithner of the First United Methodist Church gave the invocation at the event.