Banquet to honor unsung citizens

CNJ staff photo: Liliana Castillo Clovis resident Ethel Shankle has 2,600 flowers in her home that she is using for decorations at the Legacy Award Banquet next week.

Liliana Castillo

A Clovis resident is digging deep into her pockets and her contacts to honor unsung heroes of the town at a banquet July 29.

Ethel Shankle, who has lived in Clovis for 40 years, will be hosting the Legacy Award Banquet to recognize people she feels need some recognition for the work they do in the community.

“The unsung citizens, people who never get recognition for things that they do, things people don’t know about at all, will be honored,” Shankle said.

Shankle said each of the 16 people and groups have done what she called “extra service” in the community.

“They have hearts of gold,” Shankle said. “They are doing something that is not their job.”

Shankle held the first Legacy Award Banquet in 2006. Prior to that, she was in a car accident. After receiving money from the accident, she said God told her how to use the cash.

“God woke me up at 1 a.m. in the morning and told me to do this,” she said. “I enjoy touching people and showing them how you appreciate them. I always try to be kind to people. They are always kind to me. When I think about those smiling faces, it’s OK to spend that money.”

Shankle said she isn’t supporting the banquet on her own this year. Russell and Carolyn Muffley are helping her with the event almost as underwriters, Muffley said. Her daughter Denise Shankle is helping her with the design for the event.

Each award winner will receive a trophy and certificates of appreciation from the city of Clovis and the governor’s office.

The evening includes a 5 p.m. social hour, a sit-down dinner at 6 p.m. and three rooms offering three kinds of music. One room will host Will Bannister, one room will host gospel music and the last will host blues and jazz music. Shankle said the event will last as long as attendees stay.

Clovis resident Bestella Gardner is one of the people being recognized. Shankle said she is known as the “face of Lincoln-Jackson Family Center.” Gardner worked at the center for 31 years.

Gardner is a member of the Martin Luther King Jr.