High honor The Exchange Club has added yet another name to their famed Book of Golden Deeds.
Long-time Grenada businesman Cliff Colbert is this year's recipient.
Known throughout the community, Cliff Colbert received the award with the support of his family, friends, and fellow Exchangites.
As an award winner, Colbert's name will be placed in the Book of Golden Deeds to be maintained by the Elizabeth Jones Library and he will be spotlighted by the Exchange Club in the Christmas Parade. He will also be placed on the Exchange Club's 2006-2007 birthday calendar.
The Book of Golden Deeds award is one of the highest honors that the Exchange Club can bestow. According to Co-Chair of the award's committee Diane Barrentine the event holds a special meaning.
"The purpose of the Book of Golden Deeds is to recognize the good deeds of heroes and heroines of everyday life," said Barrentine. "It is exclusively an Exchange Club project that bestows contemporary honors upon worthy individuals, but also documents their accomplishments as an inspiration to future generations."
Farm family Born in 1921, Colbert was the second youngest of 10 children. From his humble beginning of childhood in the Mississippi Delta community of Egypt, his family worked as farmers. Through the years Colbert gained a job as a route driver for the Coca Cola Bottling Company in Greenwood. From 1942 to 1953, according to friends and family, Colbert became known for his ability to befriend anyone he met. The company provided him with the foundation of becoming a salesman, as he became second in the country of Coca Cola Cooler Sales in 1952.
"This experience with Coke was the groundwork for what was to come in the automobile business. He left Coca Cola to sell cars for Delta Chevrolet in Greenwood. Cliff sold Chevrolets, Oldsmobiles, and Cadillacs for 12 years," said Co-Chair of the Book of Golden Deeds Committee George Mullen. "He was recognized many times for his outstanding sales ability."
Over the years Colbert was recognized as Chevrolet Motor Divisions "Legion of Leaders" in 1993 and 1994 Trace Life Performance Chevrolet Excellence in World Class Customer Satisfaction 1989 and 1990; Best Auto Dealership 1998 and 2001; Oldsmobile Elite Total Dealership Excellence 1988 and 1989; Chevrolet Total Dealer Sales Leadership 1988 and 1990; and Member Chevrolet Motor Division Dealer's Council of 1984 and 1985.
As an accomplished businessman, Colbert is also a family man. With his wife Mary Ruth, Colbert has four daughters and over the years the family has grown to include eight grandchildren and five great grandchildren. His kind spirit and leadership in the community that makes Colbert so special, said son-in-law Ralph Petty.
"He has helped open the door for many people; not only in life, but also in life opportunities. He has influenced a lot of people young and old," said Petty. "He loves his church, family, and Grenada. He's a good representative of Grenada."
As a resident of the area, Colbert is an Exchange Club member, a former member of the Grenada's Lions Club, a member of the Grenada County Chamber of Commerce, Board of Directors of First Federal Savings and Loan of Grenada, National Automobile Dealers Association, Mississippi Automobile Dealers Association, Mississippi State University Bulldog Club, and he is an a charter member of the North Greenwood Baptist Church, of Greenwood. He is also an active member of First Baptist Church of Grenada.
As Colbert accepted the award, his words were few, but family and friends such as Rev. Huey Dedmon, the Associate Pastor at First Baptist Church, said that the 33rd presentation of this award was for a special person who made people feel the same.
"A lot of people have a lot of trust in Brother Cliff. When I wonder 'What makes Cliff so special' I always think about how he makes me feel," said Dedmon. "He makes people feel special because when you're around him you are special."