RICKREALL — Timm Cable was humble in accepting the First Citizen Award at the 49th annual Monmouth-Independence Community Awards Banquet on Friday night. Any of the nominees would have been worthy of it, he said. He looked around at all the previous winners of the award, many present at the banquet, and said it speaks well to the communities of Monmouth and Independence. “I don’t think there’s a better place to live, to do business and to raise families,” Cable said. “I don’t think there’s a better place. It’s a great honor.” Cable said he could still remember the night his father, Carol, received the First Citizen Award. “My parents set a good example for us,” he said. “I guess it’s been instilled in us.” Cable has been involved in numerous community organizations and activities, including Relay For Life, YMCA and Nite Court. He started working with Nite Court before he had any children, he said. “People see you and you’re held to a higher standard,” Cable said. “Getting to know the kids paid dividends. Over the years, you see them being recognized, and it works out good for the whole community.” The volunteers of Monmouth and Independence make being involved easy, Cable said. “I’ve been fortunate to live here most of my life,” he said. “I know a lot of people who have received this honor. It’s easy to be involved when you see what (other people) have done.” Cable was honored along with many other people, businesses and organizations at the event, coordinated by the Monmouth-Independence Chamber of Commerce, at Eola Hills Wine Cellars in Rickreall. The evening was filled with firsts, including the method for nominating people, voting for businesses, the venue and the way education awards were determined. In previous years, the Educator of the Year and Support Staff of the Year were chosen by people in Central School District, said Cec Koontz, Central’s business director and presenter for the Educator of the Year award. “This year, it was chosen by the community at large,” she said. Jeff Witt, named Educator of the Year, was not at the banquet because he was performing as Jean Valjean in “Les Miserables” at the Pentacle Theatre. Witt teaches choir and drama at Central High School. Central High School principal Greg Mitchell accepted the award on his behalf, and read a prepared speech thanking the community for its passion for youth and its belief in the performing arts. “I am humbled and inspired to have my efforts recognized,” Mitchell said on behalf of Witt. Kevin Swann, office manager at Ash Creek Elementary School, was the recipient of the Education Support Staff of the Year award for “knowing all of the students’ names, putting students, parents and teachers first, and being the battery that makes this school run more smoothly,” said Marilyn Morton, who presented the award. Shane Hedrick was presented with the Distinguished Service Award for being highly active in the community, impacting the lives of many individuals at every age level, and being engaged in many facets that make the community great, said presenter Alisha Atha. Haugen's Galleri/for the Itemizer-Observer Shane Hedrick accepts the Distinguished Service Award from presenter Alisha Atha at the 49th annual Monmouth-Independence Community Awards Banquet. Independence Cinema took home the Retail Service Award, as well as the Business of the Year for 2013. Crush Wine Bar & Tasting Room won the Food and Restaurant Service Award for having excellent customer service, excellent atmosphere and an increased interest in making the community a better place, said presenter Heidi Leppin. Haugen's Galleri/for the Itemizer-Observer Johnny Archer, Junior Citizen, says leading allows others to get involved, too. The Independence Hop & Heritage Festival won the Nonprofit Organization of the Year Award for its value to the community and for boosting tourism, said presenter Molly McDermond. Ash Creek Animal Clinic won the Professional/Personal Service Award because the people there genuinely care, are dedicated to the community, care and compassion are their No. 1 priority, said presenter Miriam Haugen. “Business cannot hope to survive without community,” said clinic owner Bob Archer. And the Winners Are … Award recipients from the 49th annual Monmouth-Independence Community Awards, held Friday night at Eola Hills Wine Cellars in Rickreall: — INDIVIDUAL AWARDS First Citizen — Timm Cable. Junior Citizen — Johnny Archer. Distinguished Service — Shane Hedrick. Educator of the Year — Jeff Witt. Education Support Staff of the Year — Kevin Swann. BUSINESS AWARDS Business of the Year — Independence Cinema. Food and Beverage Service — Crush Wine Bar & Tasting Room. Nonprofit/Organization — Hop & Heritage Festival. Professional/Personal Services — Ash Creek Animal Clinic. Retail Service — Independence Cinema.