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Talbert named 'Volunteer of the Year'

By ROSS FLINT - rflint@shelbynews.com

When Julie Metz and Courtney Chapella stopped by In-sight Realty office, they left Sherry Talbert “totally speechless.”

Metz and Chapella, representing the Shelby County Chamber of Commerce, informed Talbert, a Realtor at In-Sight Realty, that she had been named the “Dick Kitchin” Volunteer of the Year recipient for this year’s gala.

“Totally surprised,” Talbert said with a laugh in recalling their visit. “I don’t do the volunteerism to be getting an award. I just do it because I feel like that’s what everybody should do, volunteer to help our community.”

Talbert will receive the award at the 2018 Chamber Award Gala. The reception begins at 5:30 p.m. with the dinner at 6:30 p.m. March 1 at the Indiana Grand Racing and Casino Race Course Clubhouse. The program, during which Talbert will be one of the honorees, starts at 7:15 p.m.

A Shelbyville native, Talbert volunteers at a variety of events throughout the year.

She has helped at First Friday events and helped raise money for the Cancer Association of Shelby County at Rocking for Cancer, calling the cancer association “one of (her) pets.”

She’s also a member of the MHP Women’s Alliance.

As a member of the Chamber, she’s served on the committee for Girls Night Out, Cash Bash and the annual golf outing, among several others.

“I’ve always been proud of Shelby County and Shelbyville and I just feel like if everybody did a little bit, how much better we could make our community and promote our community to get people to get here,” she said. “I enjoy doing it. I enjoy volunteering, I enjoy helping out. That’s why I keep doing it.”

To her, Shelby County gets overlooked by other communities. She called it “one of those hidden gems.”

“Everybody talks about the donut counties, but for some reason, Shelby County is kinda forgot about,” she said. “I really think we’re a good community. We have good community events, we have good schools, our taxes are low enough that we have good things, but it encourages people to move here. I just think when people discover what a great community we are, they want to join us.”

A Shelbyville High School and Blue River Career Programs (then called Blue River Vocational School) graduate, Talbert has lived her entire life in Shelby County. She was a 10-year 4-H member, which allowed her the opportunity to meet other children from around the country.

And she’s grateful for the opportunities that have come her way.

“Shelby County’s been good to me,” she said. “There have always been opportunity for me here in Shelby County and I think there’s opportunity for everybody else. You have to look for it. You have to work for it.”

She and her husband, Brian, have been married for 37 years. They have two children, Josh and Lissa, and two grandsons, Bryson and Benjamin. Her parents, Clifford and Carolyn Crawley, recently moved back to the community to spend more time with family.

Talbert said she will be a little nervous and excited the night of the ceremony. Having attended for several years, she’s expecting another “festive and exciting” event.

And she encourages residents to volunteer their time. She said volunteers don’t have to devote “hours and hours” but a few each month to a chosen organization can go a long way.

“I’m just so honored,” she said of the award. “I’m really honored that they felt I’ve been that big of a help to the chamber to honor me with this award. Like I said, speechless.”

2018 Chamber Awards Gala

When: March 1

Where: Indiana Grand Racing and Casino’s Race Course Clubhouse

What: A celebration of businesses and individuals who exemplify the true spirit of Shelby County

Awards: The Shelby County Chamber of Commerce will present 10 awards at the gala: Large Business Champion, Small Business Champion, Non-Profit Champion, “Dick Kitchin” Volunteer of the Year, Shelby County Community Lifetime Achievement, “John A. Hartnett, Sr.” Business Person of the Year, Golden Pineapple Customer Service Award, Golden Apple Outstanding Educator, Pay It Forward Award, and Outstanding Citizen of the Year.

The Large Business Champion, Small Business Champion and Non-Profit Champion winners will be announced at the gala event. The other seven award recipients have already been announced by the chamber of commerce. The Shelbyville News will feature each of the individual award winners over the next several editions as well as preview the nominees for the three business awards.