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Nelson: Honor to receive award with Dalton name
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The Henry County Board of Supervisors presented the 2013 Jack Dalton Award to Barry Nelson (second from left) on Tuesday. Pictured are (from left) Supervisor Debra Buchanan; Board Chairman H.G. Vaughan; Vice Chair Tommy Slaughter; Supervisor Milton Kendall; Lois Dalton, widow of Jack Dalton; Nelson; Supervisor Joe Bryant; and Supervisor Jim Adams. (Bulletin photo by Mike Wray)
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Thursday, January 30, 2014

By BEN R. WILLIAMS - Bulletin Staff Writer

Barry Nelson said the 2013 Jack Dalton Community Service Award is “as good an honor as I’ve ever received.”

Nelson, 57, received the award at Tuesday night’s Henry County Board of Supervisors meeting. He is vice president of the Nelson Automotive Family, which has automobile dealerships in several areas of the county.

Horsepasture District Supervisor Debra Buchanan listed many of Nelson’s philanthropic acts in the community, including supporting area sports, such as American Legion baseball, Patrick Henry Community College (PHCC) baseball and the Henry County Recreation Association; starting the Fellowship of Christian Athletes at PHCC; sponsoring the Teacher of the Year Award; providing automobiles for PHCC’s Middle College program for students with transportation difficulties who are attempting to earn GEDs; and supporting numerous other civic organizations, booster clubs, churches and schools in the community.

Nelson said that the award, named after late Henry County supervisor Jack Dalton, “means to me as much as any award I’ve ever won.”

Dalton was a member of the board for more than 24 years and was the board chairman when he died on May 24, 2000.

“Jack Dalton was one of the real men,” Nelson said. “When Jack spoke, everybody listened. It’s an honor to get an award with his name on it, and I appreciate it.”

Dalton’s wife, Lois Dalton, attended Tuesday’s meeting and helped present the award to Nelson.

The award annually goes to the Henry County resident who best demonstrates the exemplary community service that marked Dalton’s years of public service.

Nelson said that in the late 1990s, he addressed the board of supervisors to ask permission to use the field at what now is Drewry Mason Elementary School for youth baseball games.

“Jack looked down at everybody and said, ‘We’re going to do this,’” Nelson said. “I don’t think it was even a vote.”

Friday night baseball games at the field soon became “the biggest draw in town,” Nelson said, with more than 200 people often in attendance.

“He knew where my heart was, what I was trying to accomplish,” Nelson said of Dalton. “When something was right, Jack stood up for it to the letter. He was good for this community. We lost a great leader when he passed.”

Nelson said one of the reasons he supports youth athletics is to help steer young leaders of the future in the right direction.

“It’s a passion of mine to get the best out of them,” Nelson said, “and I couldn’t be more proud of them.”

Nelson is the 12th recipient of the award. Previous recipients include Bea Bullard, Dr. Calvin Rains, Bill Adkins, Clay Campbell, Mary McGee, Charles Bradshaw, Bob Petty, the Rev. Thurman Echols, Nancy Bradshaw, Mary Jordan, Pat Ross and Claude Cobler.


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