VERSAILLES - Debra Pohl has been chosen as the Versailles Area Chamber of Commerce (VACC) Citizen of the Year.
This award was originally established in 1970 under the name of the Community Service Award and has been awarded annually since its inception. On Jan. 21, the VACC will ceremoniously award the Citizen of the Year obelisk to Pohl.
Pohl’s name was one of many nominees for the award, but her longtime involvement in the community, local organizations and school functions won her the title of Citizen of the Year.
Her community service dates back to her high school years when she began volunteering for the Poultry Days festival by working the chicken serving line, eventually she added selling chicken dinner and ride tickets to her duties then through the years she continued to become increasingly involved as she helped in the Band Boosters tent, where she assumed any and every duty necessary, including the setup and teardown.
She has been a part of the Modern Mothers Club, holding various offices throughout those years. She was also involved in establishing a second mothers club in Versailles, the Serendipity Moms. For many years she was a driver for the Versailles Rescue Squad, involved in the Versailles Alumni Association, served a term on the St. Denis Church Council, was president of the Versailles Council of Churches, a volunteer at the local food pantry, a former meal deliverer of Meals on Wheels, and a founding member of the “Friends of Worch Memorial Public Library.”
She was on the founding board of the Versailles Swim Team and helped out at the meets for years. She also spent years volunteering for the Band Boosters, supported the Versailles FFA, chaperoned Versailles school field trips (trips that did not include her own children). She was a founding officer of the Rhythm Company which was Versailles’ first show choir which eventually became part of the school system; Encore! She has also been an avid supporter of the Towne & Country Players by assuming many different capacities throughout the years.
The Athletic Boosters know they can count on Pohl to support their sports programs, as well as donate annually to their dinner auction. She exhibits her genuine nature by following many of the local athletes as they enter college sports. She is equally interested in the musical and acting talents of VHS graduates as she attends many of their college theatre productions.
Presently Pohl is President of the Versailles Area Historical Society and helps with the weekly Community Meals, various food relief programs and just finished another year of Operation Christmas Child.
She is a lifelong resident of Versailles, who was the oldest daughter of Betty (Carter) and Francis Grilliot has one sister, Pam Groff who nominated her for this award. She graduated in 1965 and married Harold Pohl in 1968. Together they raised four children, David Christa, Brian and Rebecca. They have five grandchildren. The Pohls are owners of Harold J. Pohl, Inc., Pohl Transportation and Pohl Logistics.
Prior to 2011 the honoree’s name had been kept secret until the end of the evening. Announcing the winner gave friends, family and neighbors the opportunity to be present for the celebratory ceremony. The public is invited to help Pohl and her family, celebrate on Jan. 21, at the Riviera Banquet Room, Stillwater Valley Golf Course. A cash bar will be open at 6 p.m. with a catered chicken, green bean, baked potato dinner served at 6:45 p.m.
A brief business meeting, for the purpose of reports and election of directors, will immediately follow the dinner. The highlight of the evening will be the presentation of the “Citizen of the Year” award. Local politicians, trustees, fire and police chiefs and council members will also be on hand.
Tickets are $20 per person and can be obtained by contacting Fred or Stacy Poeppelman at 526-9869. Since this is a catered meal it is necessary to RSVP by Jan. 15.