Awards Presented at 102nd Lamar Chamber Banquet

The Lamar Chamber of Commerce held its 102nd annual banquet at the Lamar Eagles Lodge this past Monday, January 29th, emceed by KVAY personality, Ty Harmon.

Four awards were presented during the banquet which included Citizen of the Year and Humanitarian of the year, both of which are selected from nominating letters from the public-at-large.  The other two, Upcoming New Business of the Year and the Beverly Augustine Business of the Year award are selected by chamber board members.

Ron Clausen was selected as Citizen of the Year.  The nominating letter from Ken Davis, Principal of Washington Elementary School in Lamar, highlighted the continuing generosity of Ron Clausen, particularly to the families of Washington School.  “He has made life better for them both, at school and in the community,” the letter stated.  It continued, “The very unique aspect of Mr. Clausen’s acts of generosity is that I didn’t even know Mr. Clausen.  He called me at the school one day, introduced himself, and asked if he could start donating food to the families of Washington.  He had a desire to help others and make an impact on our community in a good way.  He stated to me at the time, that with all the bad going on in the world, he wanted to help change the course of that direction by conducting acts of kindness.”



The Humanitarian of the Year award was presented to Ronny Farmer and submitted by Prowers County Commissioner, Wendy Buxton-Andrade.  Her letter read in part, “Ronny has worked for years in the background to help organizations either with their Non-profit states (Hope Center) and many others.  I would like to see his long-standing efforts and selfless efforts recognized.  He has always been there to help promote businesses and events and has done it as a silent supporter of almost every event that comes through Lamar and Prowers County, never asking for recognition, because it’s just what he does.”  Rose Ann Yates made the presentation for Farmer, stating that in almost 50 years of his participation in Lamar, he has donated his time and energy to the Lamar Hospice, BBB, Two-Shot Goose Hunt, Southeast Colorado Arts Council and the 9/11 Tribute Committee.

The remaining two awards are business-centered.  The Beverly Augustine Business of the Year award, begun three years ago, was presented to My Wholesale Products on South Main Street in Lamar, owned and operated by Shirley Smith.  It was presented by board member, Tanisha Graham.  My Wholesale Products has been in operation for fourteen years, catering to the supply side of businesses with cleaning and catering products as well as individual customers.  She noted Smith’s continuing contributions and support to a host of activities in Lamar and Prowers County.

The board also selected Lamar Outdoor Sports, owned and operated by Todd and Sarah Hornung.  Outdoor Sports opened their doors on North Main Street this past year, refurbishing the former Thai Spicy Basil restaurant that had been vacant for several years.  The Hornung’s have developed other business ventures in the community including housing construction and they began their venture in Lamar over a decade ago with the production of road flares.  Their award was presented by board member, Hillary Perales.

Chamber President, Melonee Marcum, thanked her members and introduced those who are leaving the board and noted that Preston Claybrook will be the newest member and Ashly Melgosa, although not returning to the board, will volunteer her time in various chamber activities.  Marcum told the gathering that she grew up in Lamar but various career and family circumstances caused her to move away for several decades.  “However,” she said, “I have always thought of Lamar as my home and I’m so happy to be able to return and share my life with so many friends, old and new.”  She thanked the board for their contributions as well as chamber office manager Val Baldwin for keeping the board members focused on their projects through the year.

Lamar Mayor, Kirk Crespin, addressed the audience with a rundown on various activities that are engaging the city at this time to include work on the city’s 10-year comprehensive plan, the search for a new police chief, CDOT road improvements in the city, new business development and growing hospitality infrastructure to meet the needs of visitors to Lamar.  “Lamar needs investors,” he said, “not just monetarily, but we need people who can contribute their time and energy to offer new ideas and take a role in our city’s future development.”

Sherri Becker led the audience in a prayer and Lucky’s BBQ was the caterer for this year’s event.

By Russ Baldwin

Filed Under: Consumer IssuesEventsFeaturedLamar Chamber of Commerce


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