MOUNT VERNON — “Do I love Mount Vernon? You bet I do,” said Win Curry during his acceptance speech Saturday night for the Mount Vernon-Knox County Chamber of Commerce’s Lifetime Achievement Award.
A night set aside to praise the efforts of businesses and community leaders, it was Curry’s story of family, friendship, determination and sense of community which shined in the spotlight and served as an inspiration for the crowd at The Dan Emmett Conference Center.
Outgoing chamber board chairman Gene Jackson painted a picture of Curry as having a “storied and unparalleled history in community involvement.” Jackson went on to list a few of his mentor’s accomplishments, both in banking and out among his fellow citizens.
“His community involvement is extensive and comes with quite an impressive list,” Jackson said.
Curry told the audience the story of his parents moving their five children to Mount Vernon in 1936 from Athens, Ala., in hopes of his father securing a job at Pittsburgh Plate Glass — only to find the plant was on strike.
“They hung in there and managed. There were a lot of people that helped,” Curry said.
He even did his part to help his financially strapped family. From the age of 8 to 11 years old, Curry sold newspapers, bringing in 20 to 30 cents a day to help his family. At age 11, he worked as a pin setter for the bowling alley. When bowling season ended, he walked from his West Sugar Street home to the country club — a skinny, 11-year-old kid who knew nothing about golf or being a caddy — and asked for a job. It was there Curry forged friendships with Art Packard Sr. and Perry Trinkner, two men who gave Curry his first shot at being a caddy.
“From that time on, they helped me in many ways. Their sons were friends all my life and did so much to help my family,” Curry said.
He used this example to explain that success does not come easily and that it is not a result of any one person’s singular effort.
“No one makes it on their own,” Curry said. “You need help from a lot of people, and encouragement.”
In addition to his family, both at home and on the golf course, Curry, a graduate of Mount Vernon High School, said he had coaches and teachers who always gave assistance and encouragement.
“Mount Vernon has always been good to me and my family. I am sincere about that. I will always be here and I will always appreciate what people have done for me,” Curry said.