Several awards are given out at the annual Irving-Carrollton Branch NAACP Freedom Fund Luncheon. And most recipients know they are being honored. But this year, there was one guest who was surprised. He sat at his table and started to smile as Irving Lt. Richard Gilmette described his career. And soon the whole room knew the honoree was Irving Police Chief Larry Boyd. Chief Boyd received the 2012 Officer of the Year Award from the NAACP chapter for his dedication not only to the Police Department but to the community. Others honored at the event included Thurman Jones, publisher of the North Dallas Gazette
, who received the Business of the Year Award. The Clergy of the Year Award went to the Rev. Norris Q. McGill, who is senior pastor ofAntioch Christian Church in Irving. Rev. McGill attended the luncheon with his family and received a surprise when his college-age daughter appeared directly from the airport. The Fletcher Yates Community Service Award went to Caroline Huntley Little, who serves on many boards and gives back to Irving in countless ways. And the final award, Educator of the Year, went toRaymond Edwards, principal at Crockett Middle School in Irving. Garland City Council member Billy Williams served as emcee of the luncheon, which included remarks by Irving Mayor Beth Van Duyne and a keynote address by Alethea R. Bonello, who has been involved with the NAACP since 1989. Irving/Carrollton Branch president Tony Grimes also presented a few awards to members for their service.