Lamar Chamber Holds 97th Annual Banquet

2017 Citizen of the Year, Russ Baldwin

A Lamar citizen and a local business were recognized for their service to the community during the 97th Annual Lamar Chamber of Commerce Banquet, held Wednesday, January 24th, at the Lamar Eagles Lodge. The event also introduced the incoming president for 2018, Kendra Cope, as well as the board members who will serve for the New Year.  Ginger Coberley, outgoing chamber president thanked her board for their service through 2017.

The Citizen of the Year award, presented to Russ Baldwin, Editor of The Prowers Journal and former General Manager of KLMR Radio, was sponsored by Robinson Printing, with Bob DeLancey, owner of KVAY Radio introducing the nominee and reading the nominating letter for Baldwin who offered thanks to the community and his to family for the honor of being considered as well as the recipient for 2017.  Baldwin also served as the emcee for the annual award banquet as he has in past years.

Banquet Emcee

There was no nomination for the Humanitarian of the Year Award this year and is not an automatic portion of the Chamber Banquet. This award is introduced for consideration only when an individual has been nominated.

Business of the Year Recipients TJ Sanders and Don Compton from Olive Street Station

A relatively new award has been included in the annual chamber banquet festivities for the third year now; the Business/Organization of the Year award which is selected by Chamber directors. This year’s award was sponsored by Theron Hammer of Edward Jones and was presented by Bob DeLancey to Don Compton and TJ Sanders of Olive Street Station.  Compton thanked his employees for their service over the past five and a half years at his businesses in Lamar including the Pit Stop and Rivals on North and South Main Streets.

2017 Chamber President Ginger Coberley and Chamber Director of the Year, Theron Hammer

Outgoing President Ginger Coberley noted some new events and partnerships that were introduced to the community by the Chamber over the past year, including a Business Expo, a partnership with SBDC, classes in marketing, customer service and QuickBooks. She commented that a new event, the Taste of Lamar, under the direction of Theron Hammer, was a community hit.  Coberley added that the success of the November Farm-City Banquet enabled the chamber to donate $3,000 to the district FFA.

The new chamber president, Kendra Cope, said that her goal will be to communicate the purpose and principals behind the Lamar Chamber of Commerce, as well as develop lasting relationships with the new business developing in the city. She plans to continue the SBDC partnership with future seminars and classes for chamber members.  Cope extended her thanks to the departing chamber board members, Coberley, Valerie Baldwin, Kynlee Emick and Crissy Manly.

Incoming board members include Julian Castenada, Francisco Martinez, Christa Mayhew, Allicia Crum and Jose Ramos. Returning directors are Vice-President Jessica Medina, Cassandra Looper, Mary DeLaVirgen, Jerry Roseberry, Theron Hammer, Kayla Sailors and Kirk Crespin.  The buffet roast beef dinner was provided by Robbie Sue Young and was sponsored by Theron Hammer.

Annual chamber events include: Lamar Days, Ice Cream Social, Wine Tasting, Teacher’s Annual Reception, Oktoberfest, Farm/City Banquet, Parade of Lights and the Enchanted Forest and Santa House.  Chamber supported events include:  Academic Awards, Snow Goose Festival, Sporting Events, including Holiday Basketball Tournament, the BBB Hospice Fundraiser, High School Rodeo Finals, Remembrance 9/11 Event, Sand and Sage Fair and the Chamber Honkers Association.

By Russ Baldwin

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