by Sylvia Medel– first published in The Dallas Morning News
PST hosted the 59th Annual Awards Banquet held Saturday, November 14 at the Double Tree by Hilton (near the Galleria) in Dallas, Texas. Members of PST and their guests attended and joined the celebration themed Deep in the Heart of Poetry. Beth Ayers, Annual Awards Banquet Chairman, was in charge of the arrangements and lovely decorations for the event.
PST Annual Contests Chairman, Nancy Baass, was unable to attend, but sent the winning poems and reported that 3,940 poems were entered in the 100 contests offered this year. As at previous award banquets, first, second, and third place winners were announced in each contest by the president or vice president. All first place winners present read their prize poems. This year, Shirley Elliot Cosby garnered the most number of first place poems (8), followed by Sheila Tingley Moore (6), then by Linda Banks, Barbara Blanks, and Budd Powell Mahan (5 each). In total, $6,809.95 in prize money was awarded.
Birma Castle, current president of the Beaumont Chapter, was presented the 2015 Hilton Ross Greer Outstanding Service Award by Vice President, Budd Powell Mahan. Also, past president and editor of A Book of the Year, Linda Banks, received a special award, the President’s Award, for all her advice, help, and support during President Catherine L’Herisson’s second term as president.
Towards the end of the banquet, the winner of the manuscript contest was announced. Susan Maxwell Campbell won the 2015 Edwin M. Eakin Memorial Book Award. Also announced were Catherine L’Herrison who landed in second place and Barbara Blanks in third place. All three winners are currently serving on the Executive Board of PST in the following positions: S. Campbell – Director; C. L’Herisson – President; and Barbara Blanks – Recording Secretary. For this year, twelve active-dues paid PST members entered the manuscript contest.
In closing remarks, President L’Herisson, again thanked Nancy Baass, who was not present, and Beth Ayers for all their hard work, and presented Beth with a token of appreciation. She encouraged those present to keep writing and said that she hoped to see them all there again next year.