DALLAS — The Dallas community put on its best to honor its best Friday night at the Majestic Event Center.
The 62nd annual Dallas Community Awards handed out six awards: Business of the Year – Grandma’s Attic; Lifetime Achievement – Jim Fairchild; First Citizen – Pete McDowell; Junior First Citizen – Aubrey Miller; Organization of the Year – Kindness Club; and Young Professional – Britneigh Hammill.
Presenters Tawnya Kreft and Chelsea Teal were relative newcomers to Dallas when they met Lifetime Achievement winner Jim Fairchild, who has been a teacher, coach, city councilor and mayor in Dallas. They quickly learned first-hand the kind of humility, wisdom and guidance Fairchild has given for years to students, athletes and fellow elected officials.
“He is the kind of coach which you might see in a Hollywood movie. A small-town hero who brings together a team and only achieves bringing the team to the championships, but also helps those he’s coaching reach their full potential,” Kreft said.
Teal, who served in the Dallas Area Chamber of Commerce for 15 years, said Fairchild’s service to the community began in the 1980s. She met Jim in 2002 after she moved to Dallas from Seattle.
“(I) was eager to get involved and make Dallas my home. Jim took me under his wing, recommending that I get involved with a local organization and suggested the chamber,” Teal said.
The pair worked together for two years to build the Dallas Area Visitors Center, and she estimated that Fairchild put in at least 15,000 hours in volunteer service to Dallas in two decades.
Fairchild, who retired from public service this year, took the opportunity during his acceptance speech Friday night to continue teaching.
“Yes, I’ve given you a lot of time, and I’ve loved every moment of it,” Fairchild said.
He said Organization of the Year winner Kindness Club should be the model for the Dallas.
“That’s what needs to be done in our community, keep the kindness there,” he said. “Be reaching out and helping each individual so that next time, it’s a better community.
“That’s the key right there,” he continued. “Can I make my community that much bigger, that much nicer, that much better a place to be?”