GALVESTON — More than a dozen Galveston County residents were honored Thursday as The Daily News presented its annual Profiles awards.
Each year, The Daily News publishes its Profiles magazine that highlights the people, businesses and community groups that make the county a great place to live.
The magazine also features profiles on Hometown Heroes and Community Champions.
Those are residents who are doing good things across the county.
The honorees included a La Marque woman who makes it a point to do something good in the community each day, and a man who uses chess to teach teenage boys how to manage their emotions.
Other honorees included an 85-year-old man who volunteers at nursing homes and a history buff who works each day to make sure Santa Fe residents don’t forget their past.
Scholarships were awarded to 14 Galveston County high school seniors, and Theresa Pacheco of Galveston’s Odyssey Academy was named Teacher of the Year.
The Daily News also paid tribute to Marathon Petroleum as the Employer of the Year and honored the late George Mitchell as the Citizen of the Year.
“You can’t go anywhere without seeing what George Mitchell has done for Galveston,” Daily News publisher Leonard Woolsey said in announcing Mitchell as the Citizen of the Year.
The billionaire energy man who paved the way for fracking that is leading the current oil boon and who redeveloped downtown Galveston died last year.
Bill Ross, the outgoing president of Mitchell Historic Properties, accepted the award on behalf of the Mitchell family.
“I know that George is looking down right now with a smile on his face,” Ross said. “He would be pleased to know he is getting this award from his hometown paper.”
Ross listed Mitchell’s numerous accomplishments in business and philanthropy and said he was a man before his time.
“George was 30,000 feet in the air and 20 years ahead of the rest of us,” Ross said, holding back tears. “There was so much George did for his hometown.”
Mitchell’s greatest accomplishment, Ross said, might have been rebuilding the 18 buildings he owned in downtown Galveston after Hurricane Ike struck in 2008.
“That was a $26 million investment, of which only $13 million came from insurance,” Ross said. “The other $13 million he paid from his own pocket.
“Everyone waited to see what George would do. He led the rebuilding of Galveston after the storm.”
All of the award winners will be featured in the Profiles edition, which will be published in Saturday’s edition of The Daily News.