Gary Farris Named Volunteer Of The Year: Chamber Members Vote For Depot Renovation Carpenter For Annual Honor

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Gary Farris Named Volunteer Of The Year: Chamber Members Vote For Depot Renovation Carpenter For Annual Honor

By Alex Haglund

“When I would take my drive around town, I always saw Gary working on the depot,” Darrell Fark wrote in a letter to the Nashville Chamber of Commerce, nominating Gary Farris as the Chamber’s Volunteer of the Year for 2016.

The letter was read at the Chamber of Commerce general member ship meeting held at Little Nashville restaurant on Wednesday, February 10.

“I know other people helped too,” Fark’s letter continued, “but it seems that Gary was always there.” Fark also said that the Depot looks great, a sentiment echoed by many visitors to the restored Depot when the Chamber hosted Santa Claus there in December of 2015.

After Chamber member voted, Farris had narrowly beaten out two other area volunteers, Helen Engele and Josh Curl for this year’s honor.

“I’m completely embarrassed,” said Farris when the Nashville News spoke with him about the honor. “I am.”

“It should be the other people that get it. They got the wrong guy,” Farris joked. Farris did say that he believed that there were many other dedicated volunteers in the community, including those that worked with him on the Historical Society’s project to restore the Depot, who had put “hours and hours and hours in” and who deserved the award more than he did.

“I am not trying to sound bitter. That’s not the thing. It’s just that I’m not good at this sort of thing,” Farris said.“I don’t mind doing the work. I’m not real good at taking any more than a ‘thanks’ and that’s it.”

“I think it’s an honor. I really do. And I’m glad that they thought about me,” Farris said. “It’s just that there’s other people that do an awful lot on things.”

The Volunteer of the Year banquet being held by the Nashville Chamber of Commerce in Farris’ honor will be at the Nashville American Legion on Monday, March 14. There will be a cocktail hour with a cash bar beginning at 6 p.m., and dinner will start at 7 p.m. Tickets are $25 each and can be purchased by contacting Nashville Chamber Director Doris Povolish at (618) 327-3700.

Photo By Michael Giger

Nashville Chamber of Commerce 2016 Volunteer of the Year Gary Farris, in the ticket window of Nashville’s L&N Train Depot, which Farris helped the Washington County Historical Society to restore and renovate.