Day in and day out our two-person sports department works late nights and long hours to bring readers news about the success of local athletes and all the hard work these students put in to succeed, to help their teammates and to bring recognition to their schools.

On Thursday, we celebrated the hard work of many of those athletes with the All-Texomaland Awards Banquet presented by the Herald Democrat and Texoma Medical Center and sponsored by Bonham Chrysler. As you can probably guess from that name, we didn’t do it alone. We had lots of help from a caring business community.

And the two title sponsors weren’t the only supporters. Local businesses and organizations that helped honor hundreds of young athletes include Classic of Texoma, Texas Farm Bureau, Texas Star Bank, Utter Family of Dealerships, Best Pawn, David Means Allstate, Arnold’s Martial Arts, Holiday Auto Group and Sherman Independent School District.

They helped us give these student-athletes a night they will not soon forget as they listened to Dallas Cowboys linebacker Sean Lee talk about overcoming obstacles and the importance of hard work and a good education. Their support also helped bring Lee into TMC where he was able to brighten the day of a few patients. The sponsors of this event gave because they care about their community and knew that Thursday’s event was a way to support it.

It was also a way to help fund the tireless sports journalism that serves the Texoma region, and we could not have done any of it without these businesses. So I encourage you to show them your support. Let them know that you appreciate their involvement in the community and their willingness to give back.

And know that you are blessed to live in such a supportive community. My experience living elsewhere helps me see just how caring the members of this community can be, and this is just one more example.

Happy birthday Sunday to Jalen Godwin, Alice Faye Jones, and Jack Schultz, all of Sherman; and Cecil Rhodes, Jr. of Denison.

Happy birthday Monday to Dennis Hill of Denison; Donald Raye Lyons and Donna Faye Lyons, both of Colbert, Oklahoma; and Freda Niblet and Sincere Ellis, both of Sherman.

Happy anniversary Monday to Gerald and Latiece Rutherford of Sherman, 32 years; and Jerry and Lisa Luckie of Denison, 36 years.