Home Builders Association recognizes four seniors with J.B. ‘Boots’ Hill Memorial Scholarships

Mayor Woody Jacobs, Bryson Driver, Olivia Gann, Cody Butler, and Cullman County Home Builders Association President Willy Hendrix (Sara Gladney for The Cullman Tribune)

CULLMAN, Ala. – Four seniors were honored at a Family Scholarship Night held by the Cullman County Home Builders Association and hosted by Mitch Smith Chevrolet Thursday evening. The students were awarded $2000 scholarships each and praised for setting goals in homebuilding related careers. The Home Builders Association is a group of local business people committed to promoting and maintaining home building excellence and professionalism. The association regularly raises funds for scholarships to encourage young people beginning their careers in the industry.

Students Cody Butler from Fairview High School, Olivia Gann from Priceville, Bryson Driver from Cullman Christian School and Gary Lane Smith from Arab High School were granted the J. B. “Boots” Hill Memorial Scholarship award by Home Builders Association President Willy Hendrix. Smith’s pastor Brandon Berry accepted the award on his behalf as he was unable to attend.

Mayor Woody Jacobs attended the event to congratulate the deserving award recipients. He spoke about the critical role the people in home building careers play in the community. “Cullman has housing needs. Cullman has business and entertainment needs, and these needs are all because our growth and desire of people from outside to live here. We like nothing more than to see local builders, innovators and visionaries leading the charge to fulfill these needs. If our people aren’t going to build in their hometown, then somebody else will, and when possible, I’d much rather have an end product from someone who lives here, worships here and send their children to school here—not from the outside that comes in and leaves without ties to the community. We need folks who want to invest for the longevity of this community, not the quick turnaround of making a buck.”

He explained that Cullman is always growing and adding new additions, mentioning the soon to be constructed skate park, developments at the Klein building, the old Ponder Cotton Creek warehouse, and the renovated Warehouse District. “One of the neatest things we have really pushed and assisted with is having a lot of our local developers and builders play roles in renovating and reusing older or abandoned buildings in the heart of downtown Cullman. If its legally and financially feasible, the City of Cullman wants to assist in any way we can,” Jacobs said.

He advised the four seniors to go out and try new things and gain experience saying, “Try, fail, work harder, try again and when you’re ready, come back home and use your talents to make Cullman continue to forge a path into this new decade.” He concluded by quoting his late friend, the widely loved and missed Coach Andy Page, “The only way we’ll get there is through teamwork.”

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