It is the season of Thanksgiving and Grayson County elected officials and department heads gathered Tuesday with their employees to celebrate those who have been with the county for five years or more.

Each year, Grayson County hosts the Service Award luncheon wherein employees who have been with the county for five, 10, 15, 20 years or more are honored. This year two employees, Lisa Powell and Rickey Wheeler, received 25-year pins.

Grayson County Human Resources Director Kelly Beall said the employees get to pick the kind of award they get. They can get a lapel pin, a stick pin, or a charm.

“Or they can get a $25 gift certificate to different local restaurants,” she said.

Beall said the lunch provided Tuesday was catered by Feast On This and they start planning the event at some point in the summer.

“We got put off last year because of the football playoffs,” Beall said with a laugh.

She said since they moved the event back to the courthouse last year, they decided to stay with that location. She said being in the courthouse allows more employees to come without having to get in their cars and drive. It also makes it easier for them to just come and go from the event.

“People liked it,” she said.

The county has around 615 employees, but only about 580 of them are eligible for the awards because they have to be full-time employees to qualify. Beall said many departments will be holding their own little gatherings over the coming weeks to celebrate excellence within their part of the county machine.

The event kind of kicks off the holiday season at the county. Beall said they intentionally hold it before the holidays begin so that it doesn’t become one more thing people have to juggle around in their schedules.

The following people were eligible for five year county pins this year: Donna Bingham, Bobby Brownfield, Melodie Bryant, William Caver, Mary Cook, Glen Culp, Johnny Greear, Michael Gruadza, Gayla Hawkins, Nathan Langenbahn, Chadston Luper, Sandra Mook, Darren Nixon, Rebecca Parks, Tracey Sotelo, Dustin Stacks, Kelsey Stone, Donald Wood, Ivon Wood, and Kirk Wortham.

The following people were eligible for 10-year county pins this year: Tracy Bowling, David Gray, Joe Large, Steven Lee, Bryon Mitchell, Johnny Purser, Jr., Yolanda Stephens, Kevin Talbott, and Ricky Walters.

The following people were eligible for 15-year county pins this year: Donald Bowling, Brian Jones and Debra Patterson.

The following people were eligible for 20-year county pins this year: Christi Anderson, Karen Harmon, Richard Hatch, Ken Miller, Rayburn Nall Jr., and Dorothy Young.