Beverly Augustine Presented with Chamber Appreciation Award at 2019 Banquet



Addressing the Chamber Banquet Audience

Three community service awards were presented to Lamar citizens and three new directors for the Lamar Chamber of Commerce were introduced to the public at the 98th Annual Chamber Banquet, held Wednesday evening, January 30th at the Lamar Eagles Lodge #3898.

However, the highlight of the evening was an unannounced award which was presented by the Chamber Board to Beverly Augustine, owner/operator of The Lassie in Lamar for her continued enthusiasm and support of the retail business sector in Lamar for the past 70 years from the same South Main Street address. Accompanied by family members, Lassie employees and friends, Beverly Augustine delivered a heartfelt message of thanks for the support she has received since owning her ladies clothing store beginning in 1948.

“We’re all blessed here tonight because we all live in Lamar,” she said at the beginning of her remarks, adding that the Lassie is now serving third and fourth generation customers, and she’s appreciative of the continued support she has had. “I came to Lamar from Michigan right after I graduated from college and I got off the train at the same depot that we have now and I got my very first job at the Maxwell Hotel at the corner of Main and Olive.  It was a pretty spiffy place and Lamar was too,” she told the gathering of about 125 persons.

“It was a vibrant western town and as I’ve gotten older I wish I could turn the clock back to way things were back then and Lamar is one of those places. I was in my store when Lamar became the All-American City.  That was quite an accomplishment.  I had never seen Lamar as spit and polished as it was then and I know that everyone had to work together to make that happen.  And my challenge to you is if you live in Lamar or work in Lamar and you call Lamar your home, you need to support it in every possible way you can.  You have a lot to offer and it’s up to all of us to see that that happens and I thank you all so very much.”

Kim and Jack Vanhook

Presentations for the Citizen of the Year, sponsored by Robinson Printing, was awarded to Jack and Kim Vanhook. The nominating letter noted their support for such organizations as the Salvation Army, Toys for Tots and go out of their way, decorating their home for each Halloween, an event which has brought as many as 700 kids to their front door for tricks or treats.  Kim is a dedicated and talented gardener volunteering her time caring for the flowers at the Lamar Library.  The couple serves on the Tree Board and performs numerous behind-the-scenes work to beautify the town, going so far as to clean the ditch bank as you come into Willow Creek Park.  Other activities include membership to the Lamar Elks, Sorosis, Meals on Wheels and the Library board as well as helping at Spreading Antlers Golf Club.

Greg Ausmus

Humanitarian of the Year Award, sponsored by Prowers Medical Center, was presented to Greg Ausmus for his continued volunteer work with the Lamar Ministerial Alliance, acting as the Benevolence Director for the Alliance/Salvation Army. The nominating letter states he has helped a great many people, sometimes from his own pocket to help their needs as well as food from his own pantry or sleeping bags and blankets from his home.  ‘What started as a yearning to serve his community has evolved into a commitment to make Prowers County a better place for all of us to live.’

Rick Robbins

The Business of the Year Award, sponsored by the Lamar Chamber of Commerce, was presented to Colorado Mills with general manager, Rick Robbins accepting. Robbins is active in a number of community organizations such as Prowers Economic Prosperity and Rotary and was the Chamber Citizen of the Year recipient in 2016 for his dedication to the economic growth of the community.

Colorado Mills

Colorado Mills, now celebrating its 20th year of operation in Lamar, has continued to support the community through various donations to local organizations including a recent $5,000 gift to the HOPE Center Coalition.

Kendra Buchanan

Chamber President, Kendra Buchanan, thanked her board for their time and effort for all the annual projects as well as former chamber manager Lisa Schwarte who served in that capacity for five years before stepping down. Buchanan also thanked Heather Morris for stepping into that role for the past several months since her hire.

Emcee Bob DeLancey

Robert Townsend, Holly Burton and Clifford Boxley have become board members for a three year commitment, replacing outgoing members: Cassie Looper, Theron Hammer and Kayla Sailors.

Remaining board members include: Jerry Roseberry, Francisco Martinez, Jose Ramos, Tallie Harmon, Jessica Medina and Tracy Vanture.  Officers for 2019 are:  President-Kendra Buchanan, Vice-President Tracy Vanture, Treasurer-Maria De La Virgen and Secretary-Tallie Harmon.

Jeff Ballard


Musical entertainment was by Jeff Ballard and Robbie Sue Young catered the annual event which was emceed by Bob DeLancey of KVAY.

By Russ Baldwin

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