By Victor O'Brien

Killeen Daily Herald

A longtime Killeen Daily Herald managing editor and community leader was honored at a ceremony at Texas A&M University on Tuesday.

Gerald Skidmore was one of four local winners of the 2008 Jefferson Awards for Public Service to receive their awards during the event at the Bush Presidential Library.

"I was very honored and humble about it. I just didn't expect that sort of thing to happen," he said.

Skidmore's list of current involvement includes the Celebrate Killeen and Keep Killeen Beautiful committees, the Military Child Education Coalition, the Killeen Exchange Club and the Greater Killeen Chamber of Commerce, where he serves as a special assistant to the president.

Fellow GKCC members Jack Wade and Thad Byars nominated Skidmore for the award. Wade said he believes Skidmore has shaped Killeen for the better.

"I would think that without 'Skid,' a lot of things (in Killeen) probably would not have been completed," Wade said. "He's a finisher. He's also someone to get you off of the white page and get you started."

Skidmore said his career at KDH from 1955 to 1997 allowed him to become involved in community affairs and paved the way for a career of volunteering after he retired.

He also said volunteering introduced him to many great people he would not have otherwise met.

"I can't remember a time when I worked on a community project that there were not other people there, volunteering as well," Skidmore said. "This is one of the nice things about volunteering. You get to meet – and work with – a lot of really wonderful people you might not otherwise get to know."

The Jefferson Awards is a media partnership between 147 media groups in 93 communities and the American Institute for Public Service to honor community heroes throughout the United States.

Other award recipients in Central Texas included Vicki Moose, Mary Beth McMahon and Cheryle Dangell.

"'Skid' is just a dedicated person," Wade said. "To see an individual like 'Skid' take an interest in his community and his fellow man is beyond the average person that I would normally know."

The local sponsors for the award included KWTX and Curves International.

For more information on the Jefferson Awards, visit

Information used in this article was compiled from other news sources.

Contact Victor O'Brien at or call (254) 501-7468

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