Chamber Banquet acknowledges community members and businesses

Frank Turner

The Hettinger Chamber of Commerce hosted their annual Chamber Awards Banquet this week. The Chamber Awards Banquet gives people in the community an opportunity to recognize community-driving individuals and businesses.

This year the Chamber received a record number of nominations and nominees. According to Executive Director of the Hettinger Chamber of Commerce and Adams County Development Corporation Jasmin Fosheim, the Chamber received 60 nominations.

“We are thrilled that people are taking advantage of the opportunity to recognize the great people and organizations in our community that are doing incredible things,” said Fosheim,

Each nomination required a short essay about why that individual or business should be considered for an award. According to Fosheim, there was a lot of thought and consideration put into each nomination. Small portions of the submitted essays were read aloud at the event with each nomination.

“I think the fact that we had a record number of nominations is representative of the broader excitement and momentum that we have in the community. People are excited about the future of Hettinger, and I think they wanted to celebrate that,” said Fosheim.

Uecker Yards was presented the Partner in Community Pride award. Their nomination cited, “Ted & Sheri are quick to volunteer for the Wake-Up Santa parade, 4th of July events, Helping Hettinger Day and many others. They both are so positive about Hettinger and always have a smile on their faces.” West River Health Services, Peacock Mercantile, and Laurie Wickstrom were also nominated for the award.

The Youth Employee of the Year award was presented to Joslyn Ebert. The nomination cited, “The most refreshing thing about Joslyn is that she sees what needs to be done without being told, whether it is helping a child locate a book or vacuuming the floor. Joslyn has gained confidence in her employment by taking initiative and leading our children’s programs.” Emily Shirek and Miami Pekas were also nominated for the award.

LaNae Kristy was awarded the Educator of the Year Award. Her nomination cited, “She is a devoted teacher who works tirelessly to help each and every student at Hettinger PS succeed. Mrs. Kristy is always ready to advocate for her students and spends hours assisting and encouraging students.” McKenzie Hicks, Reba Resner, Allison Seamands, Kira Henderson, West River Ambulance Service, Kasehy Tuhy, Cynthia Arndorfer, Jason LeFebre, and Angie Moser were all also nominated for the award.

The Ag Producer of the Year award was presented to Jordan and Jacki Christman. Their nomination cited, “Jordan and Jacki demonstrate outstanding passion and to their farming and ranching operation as well as to their community. They are always willing to help out a neighbor in need.” Lost Creek Cattle Company, Donald Melling Jr. and Schauer Sheep Company were also nominated for the award.

Sheila Novak was awarded Medical Services Provider of the Year. Her nomination cited, “Shelia will be in the patient’s home, from sunup to sundown, providing care, support and knowledge to make their life the best it can be. Sheila has the biggest heart and is the most compassionate person you will find.” Dr. John Kludt, Dr. Cathy Houle, Patty Ness, Mannette Obrigewitch, Sharon Silkman, Gladys Birdsal, and Cindy Larson were also nominated for the award.

The Youth Volunteer of the Year award was presented to Brynn Honeyman. Honeyman’s nomination cited, “She steps up to take tasks before others, to volunteer her time and resources. She was instrumental in the rebranding of Hettinger this year. She was a core volunteer for Helping Hettinger Day, a leader in planning the Chamber Awards Banquet and is actively involved in many school organizations and events.” Naomi Salazar, Miami Pekas, and Mason DeFoe were also nominated for the award.

Dr. Lisa Henderson was presented with the Business Person of the Year award. Henderson’s nomination cited, “Dr. Henderson has an extreme passion for the care of her customer’s pets and this passion has created a large following of loyal customers across the region. In 2006 she became a partner in the business and is active in the management of the practice. She was instrumental in bringing the new veterinary facility to our community.” Ted Uecker, Kortney Kindsfater, Pam Burch, and Collin Blade were also nominees for the Business Person of the year award.

The Pioneer Business of the year award was presented to West River Health Services. The nomination cited, “WRHS creates jobs and contributes to the economy throughout the region, their employees support local businesses and their presence brings in dollars to the local economy. The hospital, clinic and long term care facility combined employ 366 people and serves 20,000 people in a 20,000 square mile area.” Prairie Rose Floral and Grand River Honey Company were also nominated for the Pioneer Business.

Chris Parnow was awarded the Volunteer of the Year award. Parnow’s nomination cited, “Chris is an amazing person who goes above and beyond for our youth. Chris has served on the Park Board for years and was the one who started a youth football league in Hettinger.” Katie Shahan, Mike Marion, Carol Fordahl, Steve Turner, Betty Svihovec, Robin and Fay Shoberg, and John and Jennifer Rickertsen were also all nominated for the award.

A t the ceremony, Cori Lien was also presented an award to recognize her service on the Chamber board.

Overall, both Chamber president John Rickertson and Fosheim thought the night was a success. Both expressed their gratitude to everyone who volunteered to make the event a possibility.

“I thought it was a great night with a great turnout, especially with the weather being so cold,” said Rickertson, “It’s great to see people volunteer their time to make such a fun night.”