Jack Rickett believes in helping others any way he can, whether that means making a donation to the local food pantry or landing big-name talent for a concert.

His efforts have not gone unnoticed.

The Cave City businessman was awarded the Citizen of the Year Award Tuesday night at the Cave City Chamber of Commerce Annual Awards and Hall of Fame Banquet.

Rickett said he was “shocked” to learn he was the recipient of the award.

“I’m used to trying to help other people instead of getting something like this. I didn’t expect it. That’s for sure,” he said.

Ricketts was nominated for the award because of all the things he has done for the town.

“Since I have known him, which has only been about a year, there’s been a lot of things he has done (such) as bringing the concert to Cave City, which was a really big boost,” said Cynthia Watson, Cave City Chamber of Commerce officer-elect. “He’s really active in a lot of church activities. I know he is a big sponsor of the Omega Force Strength Building Team. I had not even heard of them until he brought them to Cave City for Good Ole Days.”

In addition to bringing country recording artists Sammy Kershaw and Bryan White to the Good Ole Days festival this summer, Ricketts opened a new business, Hydratrek, which gives tourists a thrilling ride over rough terrain.

He is known for making donations to Pathfinders, a local food pantry, as well as Feed the Children.

He believes in doing so much for others, because he feels that is what he is supposed to do.

“I just feel like if we don’t help each other through this life, we’re not going to make it. For you to see a need and not help that need, it’s a sin. I just feel like we should help each other if we can possibly can,” he said. “The businesses that I own and operate are founded on those principles. It’s not about money. It’s not about the number of people we put through our businesses. It’s, ‘Can we help someone along the way?’”

Mayor Bob Hunt presented the award to Rickett and said his desire to help those in need is easily detected.

“Jack is always willing to give his time and his resources to the community for the betterment of the community,” Hunt said. “If you sit down and talk to Jack, you can just feel the vibes from him that he really wants to see Cave City do well. He wants to help all that he can to see that it does well. He’s the type of fellow (who) doesn’t come along every day. We really appreciate him coming to Cave City and his input in this community.”

In addition to Hydratrek, Rickett owns Tee Time Golf Range in Cave City, plus several other small businesses.

Other awards given during the banquet included: Ray Gossett, Excellence in Agriculture; Johnny and Dawn Shanks, Small Business of the Year Award; Park Haven Rentals, the Heers family, Economic Development Award; and Jim Page, Volunteer of the Year Award.

Wandel Strange, out-going chamber president, said “every person who got an award was very deserving. The inductees are so deserving to be in the Hall of Fame.”

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