Dale Shepherd Honored as 2024 Citizen of the Year 

Published 12:00 pm Friday, April 19, 2024

By Haley Mitchell Godwin

The Crenshaw County Chamber of Commerce hosted its annual Citizen of the Year banquet April 11 in the Dei Center at Luverne United Methodist Church. Dale Shepherd was honored as the 2024 recipient of the prestigious award.

Guest speakers Suzette Helms and Steve Sanders delivered heartfelt remarks, highlighting Shepherd’s tireless efforts in uplifting others. They

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emphasized her steadfast devotion to community betterment.

“When there’s a job to be done and Dale is asked to help, she does it,” Helms said. “She has a long-term continuing commitment to the garden club as well as to the community and I thank you Dale for all you do.”

Sanders, in his address, reflected on Shepherd’s familial heritage of resilience and service, drawing attention to her parents’ legacy of compassion, her father’s military service and status as a World War II prisoner of war (POW) as well as her own consistent dedication to aiding others in any capacity possible. 

“Dale’s parents were consistent,” Sanders said. “They have a farm that has been in the family for over 100 years and that’s just part of who Dale is. She is consistent. Dale you have spent your life taking care of the needy, the hungry and the ones that need attention. Jesus says, ‘Thank you.’ We all say thank you and tonight on behalf of the Crenshaw County Chamber of Commerce we present to you the distinguished citizen of the year 2024 to Mrs. Dale Shepherd.”

In addition to Shepherd’s acknowledgment, the ceremony paid tribute to chamber members Martha Dickey, SalLee Sasser, Donald Nix and Emily Maddox for their commitment to the community as they were honored for their many years of dedicated service. Nix and Maddox were unable to attend the event.

Addressing those in attendance, Shepherd expressed her gratitude, albeit humbly. Kathy Smyth, Chamber board president, concluded the evening by emphasizing the importance of community involvement. Smyth extended a warm invitation to all present and beyond to join the Chamber of Commerce, and said community engagement is fundamental to the county’s prosperity and well-being.