Friday, October 29th, 2010
By Amy Kronenberger
Sell named Rockford's citizen of the year
Village's Family Market owners earn first business of the year award
  ROCKFORD - Dr. Jerry Sell was hailed the 37th Citizen of the Year, and Barry and Robby Peel of Barry's Family Market received the first Business of the Year award from the Rockford Chamber of Commerce on Thursday.
Dr. Sell, who graduated from Parkway High School in 1965, has lived a life of service, not only to his community but also to the world, according to Dennis Hecht, the 2009 Citizen of the Year recipient.
After high school, Sell attended Middletown School of Nursing and married his high school sweetheart, Connie Beougher. He served in the army from 1967 to 1970 as a preventative medicine instructor in Texas. He was awarded the Army Commendation Medal for his acts of heroism and extraordinary or meritorious service.
Sell returned to Ohio and earned a degree in biology before graduating from The Ohio State Medical School in 1976.
During his career, Sell served as team doctor for the Parkway football team, gave free physicals to students and opened a free health clinic in Van Wert for pregnant mothers and babies.
"He's done a tremendous amount in the community," said Hecht.
Sell also helped organize the purchase and delivery of an X-ray machine for the Sierra Leone Medical Clinic in Africa. He traveled to Honduras three times on mission trips and went to Haiti with Billy Graham's Samaritan's Purse Mission a few weeks ago.
The Peels won the chamber's first Business of the Year award for their service and dedication to the community, according to chamber secretary Terra Henkle. They opened in 1988 and have 20 employees.
Although their business has grown and they've "updated with new scanners and computers over the years," Henkle said. "They've stayed true to the community and to the farmers and homegrown market. They've done so much for the community."
"We're very pleased and caught off guard," Barry Peel said. He added that he was "honored to be paired with Dr. Sell." He said although he and his wife received the award, it should have been his wife and employees receiving it because nothing he's done would be possible without their support.
Ohio Rep. Jim Zehringer spoke at the banquet, as did former dean of Wright State University - Lake Campus Dr. James Sayer, who talked about the media's influence on children and the importance of education.
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