Greg First presented Chamber’s top honor

Honoring those who serve our community

The Greater Zephyrhills Chamber of Commerce recognized the pillars of the community Tuesday night at Southport Springs Golf and Country Club during the organization’s annual awards banquet.

Highlighting the night was Greg First being the recipient of the Alice Hall Community Service Award recognizing him for his lifelong commitment to Zephyrhills where he was an integral part of the community.

First served as the public address announcer for the Zephyrhills High School football games for 40 years, never missing a game. He was the master of ceremonies for the dozens of Founders’ Day Parades. He was a past chamber president and director. He is a member of the AMVETS and served on boards of more than a dozen organizations.

“I was shocked,” First said. “I was blown away. Alice meant everything to me. She was the reason I was so involved in the community and the chamber. I am who I am because of my parents and Alice Hall. I love that woman. Having an award with her name on it is an honor.”

Other winners on the night were AOK Axe of Kindness as Small Business of the Year, Sarah Vande Berg Tennis and Wellness Center as Large Business of the Year, Diamond Award went to the Daybreak Rotary Club of Zephyrhills, Senator Danny Burgess was honored with the Leadership in Government Award, Paul Correia was the Citizen of the Year, Sam Abrahani was named Chamber Ambassador the Year and Dr. Randy Stovall received the Chamber Member of the Year.

Shaun Sikat, the owner of AOK, was re-affirmed that all the toil and sacrifice to make his business work and to be a champion in fundraising for local non-profit groups was well worth it.

“Being recognized by the community isn’t why I do stuff, but being recognized makes it easier to keep going,” Sikat said. “We’re not done. We have so much stuff planned for Zephyrhills.”

The night had its bittersweet moment as Chamber CEO Melonie Monson was given a fond farewell and thanked for her seven years of service to the chamber and the community.

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