Weldon and Vernell Reed are all smiles after being named Roosevelt County Pioneers of the Year at the Pioneer Banquet Friday kicking off Heritage Days in Portales. (Staff photo: Karl Terry)
Weldon and Vernell Reed of Floyd received the 2006 Roosevelt County Pioneer of the Year Award.
They were presented with a commemorative plaque at Friday’s Heritage Days reception and Pioneer Banquet.
“It was a surprise and also really a great honor,” said Weldon, who was an educator and principal for Melrose schools for 17 years. “We’re just poor country people and never expected anything like this so it’s really great.”
Vernell was also an educator, teaching for Melrose and Roy schools for 22 years.
“I was very surprised also and happy too, but if we hadn’t won it would have been OK too. We’re not sore losers,” she said with a smile.
Lila Bryant of Portales and Hazel Holmes of Elida were honored as nominees for the award, and each received a plaque.
Those in attendance at the ceremony were served cake and punch as the reception began with entertainment from the Triple L Band.
Chris Harrell was the master of ceremonies and announced each nominee with a short poem he wrote about the lives of each of the guests of honor. All of the nominees received a copy of their poem.
Following the announcement, a video presentation of the Reeds was played for the audience. It showed the two being interviewed and speaking about living in Roosevelt County for so many years. In the video, Weldon said the main thing that sets Roosevelt County apart from anywhere else is that it’s home.
The Reeds also spoke of the beginning of their marriage and the hardships of going to college late in life and obtaining degrees while raising four children on the family farm.
After the video, Weldon spoke to the audience, accepting his award and introducing his four children and other family members.
The Reeds’ eldest daughter, Rosa Goolsby, said she was glad to see her parents receive the award.
“It’s such an honor,” Goolsby said. “We wanted to surprise them with all the family gathering, just to see what happened, and I think we accomplished that. They were really surprised to see some of the out-of-state relatives arrive so it’s just been great fun and they’ve enjoyed it thoroughly,” she said.
The award winners were chosen by five anonymous judges who reviewed each candidate’s entry package.
The Pioneer of the Year Award honors residents who have lived in Roosevelt County for more than 50 years, are at least 75 years old, and have the upbringing and integrity needed to be named a pioneer of the county.
2006 Heritage Days
• 8 a.m. — MainStreet fun run (Yam Theatre)
• 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. — Car show registration
• 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. — Car show
• 10 a.m. — Parade
• 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. — Food and craft booths open
• 11 a.m. — GeoCache event
• 1:30 p.m. — Motorcycle competitions
• 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. — Gospel grass
• 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. — Christian country jamboree
• 12:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. — Gospel grass
Source: Roosevelt County Chamber of Commerce