A brand new Polo Chamber of Commerce member took part Monday night in the presentation of the Citizen of the Year Award — to his own parents.
Award presenter Tom Suits called Ed Vock, who recently joined the chamber, up to the podium to open the envelope containing the winner's name.
"Oh, there's two of them," Vock said as he opened the envelope and then, with a wide smile, announced Carl and Anne Vock as the 2012 recipients of the award.
After the presentation Anne said she was totally surprised to be chosen. "It shocked me," she said.
Carl gave credit back to the community. "It's a beautiful community to live in," he said. "We're proud to be part of it. These are good people to work with."
Suits recounted the years of volunteer service the couple has given to the community.
They managed the Lifeline Food Pantry for 10 years.
"They always had a smile and kind words for people who came in," said one of the three letters nominating them for the award. "They never complained about the work, the shopping, the sorting, or the necessary government forms."
The couple is active in at St. Mary's Church, serving on its board and organizations.
Anne served as co-chairman of the St. Mary's committee for Second Hand Rose, a thrift store run by local churches, and still volunteers there.
She is an active member of St. Mary's Altar and Rosary Society.
Carl helps deliver Christmas food baskets for the Polo Council of Churches, and has been a member of the Knights of Columbus for 58 years.
He's also been a Lions Club member for 34 years and received the Melvin Jones Award, given for humanitarian service.
The Vocks have been married for more than 60 years and farmed north of Polo for 50 years before moving to town 10 years ago.
They raised seven children, all of whom attended Polo schools and went on to graduate from college.
"Carl and Anne, you can be proud of your service to Polo — the whole community is proud of you," Suits said.
Earlier in the program, Harlan Nettz presented the Carole Nettz Volunteer of the Year Award to Cliff Harmon, who has managed the car show for the last five years.
The award is presented each year in honor of Nettz's late wife Carole, who was an active volunteer in the community.
Suits presented the third annual Service Award to Bill Burkardt, owner of Burkardt's LP Gas, for 30 years in business.
Polo Citizens of the Year
1996—John H. Harris
1998—Dr. John Clayton
2002—Dwight & Doris Silvius
2004—M. Thomas Suits
2012—Carl & Anne Vock