LOGAN – This week is Business Appreciation Week and in commemoration of the event, six local businesses were recognized Monday during the third annual Golden Oak awards ceremony hosted by the Hocking County Community Improvement Corporation and the City of Logan.

The award was started in 2013 to give thanks to the many businesses, organizations and individuals throughout the community.

“The weeklong recognition of our local businesses is a great opportunity for people to take time to network, and while networking should be done all the time, it is becoming more important as a way to build the local economy,” stated Logan City Mayor Martin Irvine.

“It is because of our local businesses that many charitable, civic and philanthropic contributions are made to help sustain our community,” he continued.

Irvine read a proclamation signed by Logan City Council members proclaiming the week of Nov. 23 through Nov. 27 as Business Appreciation Week.

During the inception of the award in 2013, Irvine said he wanted to identify an award concept that could easily be represented and identified by a symbol – the 600+-year-old Oak tree in the old cemetery came to mind.

“This six century old tree has an elaborate root system, large trunk and many branches and is very recognizable,” Irvine noted. Local artist, Dave Brimner made a drawing of the tree and for the past three years a print has been awarded to recipients of the Golden Oak award.

The Golden Oak award recognizes the foresight, diligence and unselfishness of individuals or organizations that nurture new growth and strong roots in the community. “Gold” refers to the Golden Rule and symbolizes the unselfishness and love-of-community exemplified by the recipient.

The “Oak tree” symbolizes growth, strength, and life that can be enjoyed only when a person is forward-thinking enough, and caring enough, to first plant and nurture the seeds for future development.

Thus far there have been seven winners of the Golden Oak award. This year five more were added to the list including St. John Catholic Church, Logan Clay Products, Columbus Washboard Company, Saving Hardware and Logan Coatings LLC.

Father Ferguson accepted the award for St. John Catholic Church, which is celebrating its 175th anniversary. The church is celebrating with yearlong events throughout 2016. Father Ferguson said the aim of the yearlong event is two-fold – past and future. The idea is to honor the past 175 years of the parish and to reconnect with parishioners and old friends.

Dick Brandt accepted the award on behalf of Logan Clay Products who is also celebrating a milestone of 125 years in business. Brandt told a little history of the plant and how his family became involved and eventually owners of the local business.

Columbus Washboard Company is celebrating 120 years in business. James Martin accepted the award and thanked Irvine. Martin talked briefly of the factory and how it has expanded.

Saving Hardware has been in downtown Logan for 67 years and also was a recipient of the Golden Oak award. Bill Saving accepted the award on behalf of the company. Saving said his business would not be a thriving business if it weren’t for the customers and his family.

The last Golden Oak award was presented to a young man who just recently opened a business in Logan in order to help support another longtime business of the community. Seven months ago, Jim Johnson and his family moved to Logan to open Logan Coatings, suppliers to the automotive industry.

Hocking County Commissioner Sandra Ogle also presented an award on behalf of the commissioners to Eric Maxson of Laurelville Grain. Ogle noted that not only is Maxson a huge supporter of the Laurelville Fireman’s Festival, but has also purchased many animals from the Hocking County Fair throughout the years to support the local 4-H program and its members.

Ogle said that Maxson has been a great asset to the community and is well deserving of the award.

“Today’s reception honored businesses and people who believe in our community and the people here,” said CIC executive director Joy Davis. “We are better because of their investment, and this week we take the time to say thank you to all the businesses in our county.”

Irvine briefly touched on the celebration of Logan’s Bicentennial, which will be celebrated in 2016 with yearlong events marking the founding of Logan 200 years ago.

“I want to encourage all to join the celebration by participating in as many events as possible,” he said. “I reference the Bicentennial because several of this year’s recipients have been around a few years now and very well could have been here to celebrate 100 or even 150 years. Hopefully all of them will be around to celebrate 250 years and beyond.”

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