Chamber Community Awards Night
July 11, 2017
The Fennimore Chamber of Commerce has been recognizing Fennimore area volunteers since 1981. Originally recognition began with the Sweetheart of the Year, dual recognition began in 1985 when the chamber added the Citizens of the Year. In 1996 the chamber decided to recognize two men or women as Citizens of the Year in place of the Sweetheart recognition. In 2010 the chamber further expanded their recognition of Fennimore area volunteers by recognizing two Citizens of the Year, Fennimore Family of the Year and Fennimore Business of the Year. In 2017 the Chamber board added another category “The Chamber Exemplary Service Award” to an individual who is not a Fennimore resident but believes in the community and goes out of their way to volunteer their services and expertise to better the community, which in turn, benefits the community.
2017 Citizen of the Year: Kevin Everson
Kevin is involved in the community in several ways including youth sports, Tball and coaching at the high school level with track, JV football as the Varsity Girls basketball coach.
His nominators all noted how much Kevin is dedicated to his responsibilities as a coach and mentor to his student-athletes. The kids see this through
his actions and words, earning their respect. They noted how he makes supper for the entire team twice a season, used his own funds to get the girls into tournaments, and in the summer he takes three days out of his week to work with the girls and keep them involved in summer league.
One event this past season stood out to all our nominators. After a terrible fire that took the home and belongings of one of his players (the day before a really big game no less) Kevin arranged transportation for the team, cancelled practice, and took the girls on a shopping trip to get things for his player and her family. When it came time to check out, Kevin took care of the entire bill. FHS Student Council and others offered to reimburse him, but Kevin graciously refused. He knew that the team needed to do this trip rather than another practice, how important it was to come together as a team to help a teammate, something they will remember long after any scores and records.
2017 Family of the Year: The Marty & Charity Bray Family
The nominator wrote: A wonderful family of four with daughters Cassara and Alyssa, with a beautiful home in town and deep involvement for many years in our community. They are very active in their church family at St. Peter’s Lutheran Church, as you will notice when there is an event at the church, you will most likely find them involved and in attendance. They are involved in volunteering within the community as evidence by their involvement in youth sports, school sports, the pool fundraising committee, Maroon & Gold Club activities, post prom fundraising group, FFA events, Little League, and on and on and on.
They make a point of supporting the community they live in by supporting local businesses as well as supporting their neighbors and friends 24/7/365. They are there, not only for the big events but also the small and sometimes personal ones like birthdays and anniversaries, with a kind word and a smile, a handshake or a hug.
2017 Business of the Year: Collision Specialists
People always remark on how well they are treated when they stop into their office and shop. Jeff and the staff are always welcoming to customers, old and new. Even after recent hail storms damaged many local vehicles, which had their phone nearly ringing off the wall, they were ready with a warm hello and took their time with each case, making sure each customer was taken care of. Auto repair is a very detail oriented business and Collision Specialists does just that, taking pride in their work, charging a fair price, and getting your vehicle back to you in a timely manner.
Jeff and the staff are also involved in the Fennimore community outside of the business setting, as Jeff is a city council alderperson, co-chair of Fun Fest and served many years as a youth wrestling coach. Collision Specialists is also celebrating a huge business milestone, as this is their 50th year in business in our area.
2017 Chamber Exemplary Service Award: Denise Deaton-Tolzman
The 2017 Chamber Exemplary Service Award goes to Denise Deaton-Tolzman an employee of QueenB Radio. Denise has been involved with the Fennimore Chamber for more than two decades, serving as the Chamber President in 1997. Denise fits the profile of Exemplary Service perfectly!
Denise is a long time chamber board member, co-chair of the Marketing committee, Membership committee, Citywide Garage Sale committee, participates in Chamber Ambassador and CARE calls to name a few. When other standing committees she asks for volunteers she is often found volunteering for a shift to help out.
Her marketing and sales skills with QueenB Radio have enabled the Chamber to develop an endless list of successful promotions, events and activities throughout the years. Her tireless dedication and commitment to the Chamber and to the Fennimore community is phenomenal. She not only helps organize our events but consistently attends them (many held on weekends) and works often behind the scene to help make them successful.
Denise was one of the individuals who organized the Grant County Tourism Council back in 1997 and continues to be a driving force in that organization. She has served as President and currently serves as Treasurer of that organization. The connection with Grant County Tourism Council and the Fennimore Area Chamber of Commerce is very strong so her involvement to the Council bodes well for the Chamber as well. We thank Denise’s family, husband Scott and family Carissa and Zach for sharing her with us. Thank you, Denise, for being who you are and for what you bring to the Chamber!
50th Anniversary Businesses
The Fennimore Area Chamber of Commerce also began another new tradition in 2017. They will recognize all chamber businesses celebrating their 50th Anniversary in business. This year’s recognition went to Collision Specialists SSE and Southwest Tech.
Southwest Tech Overview
Before the first shovel of dirt was unearthed in a cornfield outside of Fennimore, no one could have imagined what would someday stand there almost 50 years later; Wisconsin’s #1 and the nation’s #11 two-year college of 2016. Now, in 2017, they are proud to celebrate the many ways the College’s mission and its graduates positively impact Southwest Wisconsin. Thousands of Southwest Tech employees, partners, and supporters deliver excellence to students, businesses, and communities. Because of their tireless efforts, they have forever changed the lives of those served. Southwest Tech’s 50th Anniversary is an exciting opportunity to reflect on our past, celebrate the present and move forward with a renewed dedication to students and the district.
The Chamber thanks all of the nominators who shared the details of the great work done by volunteers who may have gone unnoticed. Nominations are accepted in June each year.
Recognizing Outstanding Citizens since 1985
The FACC has been recognizing Fennimore area residents who have made a significant difference in the community since 1985. Those who have been previously recognized include Jim Larson (1985), Nick Kramer (1986), Al Truitt (1987), Harold Plattner and Charlie Roethe (1988), Hazel Craig (1989), Jim Soman (1990) Ray Hoffman (1991), Virgil Brodt (1992), Charles Stenner (1993), Gerald Munns (1994), Rob Rands (1995), Joe Novinska/Anne Novinska (1996) Steve Briehl/Marcia Bahl (1997), Dennis Lendosky/Sally Behnke (1998), Jerry Day/Richard Rogers, (1999), John Briel/Margaret Sprague (2000), Nancy Vogel/Matt Johnson (2001), Martha Hestad/Bill Wood (2002), Connie Schiestl/Richard Carlin (2003), Kris Fry/Doug Daechsel (2004), Bob Craig/Jeri Novinska (2005), Ed Klais/Alice Mudler (2006), Steve Lendosky/Henry Oechsle (2007), Pam Kreul/Tim Slack (2008), Len Leis and Renee Zintz (2009), Dr. Aguilar and Mary Davis (2010), Pastor Leroy Johnsrud, Robert and Dorothy Swenson, and WebWise Design & Marketing (2011); Jamie Nutter, Shirley & Dave and Wendy & Al Stelpflug and Rayovac Fennimore Plant (2012); Cindy Arndt, Herb & Harriet Brun and Suppz Gym (2013); Dean Ashmore; Art and Sherry Freymiller; Fennimore Livestock Exchange/Jake Klais, LuAnna, Brooke and Tyler Staskal (2014); Nelson Properties/Rick and Beth Nelson, Murray Heitzer, and Peterson Family – Aaron, Sara, Aidan, Jessica and Marge Peterson (2015);Connie Neal and Ingeborg Froiland, Rob and Karla Witzig family and Good Samaritan Society (2016).
Chamber Sweetheart of the Year include Gilda Finnegan (1981), Sybil Koenecke (1982), Velma Helgeson (1983), Norma Brechler (1984), Sarah Lendosky (1985), Brenda Schumacher, Gladys Pettera, Harriet Copus, Isabelle Doyle, Bernice Woll, Arlene Dempsey, Nancy Wells, Linda Parrish, JoAnne Wiederholdt and Jane Soman.
The Community Awards are awarded at 6:30 p.m. during the Chamber’s Annual Chicken BBQ held the second Tuesday of July (July 11, 2017) in the Memorial Building.