Oxford chamber honors Crawford with Penn Award

Jan. 29, 2013 @ 12:03 PM

Former state Rep. Jim Crawford Jr. is the recipient of the 2013 Granville County Chamber of Commerce John Penn Citizen Award.

Presentation of the award Monday night at the chamber's 71st anniversary banquet recognized Crawford for his 28 years in the legislature, as well as his community and church activities.

“This is a mighty lot for the little I've done,” Crawford said following the presentation.

Leading up to the naming of the recipient, presenter Marshall Tanner, a longtime Crawford friend, said, “It is well-known that Jim is an honest leader who has had the courage and judgment to make difficult decisions for the best, long-term results for every North Carolina citizen.”
Of his 28 years in the legislature, Crawford said, “I thank Granville County for letting me stay there for a long time, and I hope it paid off.”

Speaking of his family, constituents and staff, Crawford said, “Things are hard to do without the support of the people around you.”

A second award for Crawford, the Order of the Long Leaf Pine, was presented on behalf of Gov. Pat McCrory. The award is considered the highest civilian honor for North Carolinians.

Crawford, a U.S. Navy veteran, also served on the Oxford City Council; founded and was first chairman of the N.C. House Small Business Caucus; served on various House committees, including appropriations, judiciary and mental health; sat on interstate and joint committees, including the Virginia-North Carolina High Speed Rail Commission; held membership in the N.C. Retail Merchants Association, the National Federation of Independent Businesses and the Oxford Jaycees.

Crawford is a former member of the UNC Chapel Hill board of visitors and serves on the Vance-Granville Community College Foundation Board. He has been named Legislator of the Year by both the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill and the N.C. Nurses Association and has been a recipient of the N.C. Association for Addiction Treatment Program Award.

“Jim is always seeking the right answers, working tirelessly on projects and committees to the benefit of us all, not caring who receives the credit, doing noble things and asking little in return,” said Tanner, who also nominated Crawford for the Penn award.

The award is named for John Penn, one of three North Carolinians who signed the Declaration of Independence.

Awards to Outstanding Community Organizations were also presented during the banquet at the Vance-Granville Community College Civic Center.

The Penn Avenue Baptist Church was honored for its feeding ministry, which serves about 500 meals each week. The award for the 13-year-old program was accepted by Margaret Kenyon. The church also operates a food pantry, clothes closet and men’s shelter.

The Granville Education Foundation was honored. The foundation works in conjunction with the public schools as it raises funds and awards grants to teachers for use in their classrooms. President John Burns accepted the award.

Beginning her term as president of the chamber, Monica Satterwhite told members “when I came to Granville County (in 1999) I knew I would like Granville County. But I did not know I would love Granville County. I wanted to be a participant in the success of Granville County.”

Satterwhite, who succeeds George Ritchie, urged members to support their neighbors' businesses by shopping locally and to be involved in chamber activities.

Contact the writer at news@hendersondispatch.com.