Since 1990, the Minden-South Webster Chamber of Commerce has used its annual membership banquet as a venue to recognize Man and Woman of the Year.
For 2013, two active community members were chosen for that honor – Terry Gardner as Man of the Year and Sarah Haynes as Woman of the Year.
The Man of the Year award is presented each year by the Minden Lions Club to the man in the community that has, over his lifetime, upheld the ideals of God, family and country, and through his sacrificial service, made Minden a better place to live.
"Our Man of the Year continues to serve tirelessly while building a tremendously diverse and successful business empire literally from the 'ground up,'" said 2013 chamber Chairman Dan Gibson. "Supported by his loving wife Debbie, he always puts Minden and its families first, and livens up our lives with his infectious laugh and loving touch."
Gardner is dedicated to March of Dimes, and serves as a state board member and has chaired the March of Dimes walks in Shreveport and Minden.
"His service to the Minden-South Webster Chamber of Commerce over the years is unmatched, as he has chaired every major board committee and served as board chair," Gibson said.
Gardner is an active member of First Baptist Church, where he has led Youth Bible Study and served as a Sunday School teacher. He has served as the Webster Parish Special Olympics coordinator, and Louisiana State Special Olympics Coach. He has served, as a board member for the Webster Parish Education Endowment Fund, Hope Youth Ranch, Webster Parish Tourism, Fasching Festival, and Ark-La-Tex Mardi Gras Museum.
He is also a founding member of the Krewe des Ambassadeurs and has served as Captain and King of the Krewe.
"As a young child, I always heard that if you gave back to the community and your church and hellp others that need help, the rest comes back," Gardner said.
Each year the Young Women's Service Club sponsors the Woman of the Year Award.
This award recognizes outstanding women who have made far-reaching contributions and exhibited exceptional service to the community.
"The Woman of the Year for 2013 upholds the legacy of the women who have preceded her," said Rebecca Bower, president of YWSC.
Haynes is an active member of First Baptist Church, where she serves as a prayer warrior and performs countless behind-the-scenes services.
She has served and continues to serve on countless civic boards and committees
"She is a servant leader for whom no undertaking is too great and no task too small," Bower said. "Her skills as a hostess and event planner are legendary and she never, and I mean never, says no to a request to serve in that capacity for a cause that improves our community."
Just a few of the organizations Haynes has served include the local LSU Alumni Association Chapter, St. Jude, the Young Women's Service Club, the
Junior Service League, the Minden Planning Commission, the Krewe des Ambassadeurs, Leadership Webster, and the Minden-South Webster Chamber of Commerce.
"Her range of involvement and service is staggering," Bower said. "She seems to be everywhere and is always leading the charge toward making Minden a better place."
Bower pointed out that Haynes has a challenging job at Minden Medical Center, while raising two children with her husband Gary, "who is her rock and biggest fan."
"There are so many people who are more deserving than I am," Haynes said.