Food, music and awards highlighted the Delta Area Chamber of Commerce's annual banquet March 12 at Bill Heddles Recreation Center. The occasion was also an opportunity for new relationships to be formed, and for old acquaintanceships to be renewed.
The recreation center gym was filled with community members who, as business owners or employees, volunteers or nonprofit supporters, contribute to the vitality of the community in myriad ways.
A prime example is Troy Wells, named Volunteer of the Year for 2015. When he heard the Deltarado Days rodeo would be returning to the Roundup Club Arena, Wells provided the equipment and manpower to prepare the facility not only for the rodeo, but for horseshoes and mud volleyball as well.
"We could not have pulled off a successful Deltarado Days rodeo without Troy and his crew," said chamber board member Josh Applegate.
Other nominees included Nancy Hutto, Lillian Packard, Lucinda Stanley, Kami Collins, Jesse Messenger, Joann Kalanek, Christy Prettyman and Lance Boren.
Although he was not named Volunteer of the Year, Jesse Messenger was recognized by the chamber board for his efforts in representing and promoting the chamber as a chamber ambassador. "Somehow he makes time in his busy life to always be available, show up, and work the long hours without hesitation or complaint," said board member Chris Cox. Unfortunately, his busy schedule prevented Messenger from being on hand to accept the award.
A long list of businesses were nominated for 2015 Business of the Year, including Kwiki Tire, 4B's Brewery, Grand Mesa Commercial Real Estate, RE/MAX Today, Hellman Motors, Western Slope Long Term Care Solutions, Two Rivers Veterinary Clinic, Wells Excavation, Rocky Mountain Pantry and Pro Space Interiors.
Chamber board president Heather Redden announced the winner -- Grand Mesa Commercial Real Estate, owned by Lucinda Stanley.
"When the board of directors considers the works of businesses in our area, we not only focus on the individual success of the business but also in what impact it makes with our area, community, and economy," Redden said. "Over the past year, there is a business that has made great strides towards building and developing our area's growth, stability, and overall improvement. A business that has been dedicated and loyal in making a positive impact. We know the time and effort put in to reaching out to additional resources to bring people in, to making each of businesses in the area better, and to setting standards of quality. With that being said, the board of directors award Business of the Year to Grand Mesa Commercial Real Estate."
A nonprofit organization that saved over 300 lives in 2015, Delta County Citizens for Animal Welfare and Shelter, or CAWS, was named Nonprofit of the Year. In presenting the award to CAWS board president Rand Kokernot, Kylynn Wilson listed the diverse ways CAWS and its volunteers service the community, from fostering out animals, to veterinary assistance, to helping you train your animal.
Also nominated for the award were Delta Health and Wellness Center, Horizons/VOA, All Points Transit, Heirlooms for Hospice, Delta United Methodist Church, Altrusa International of Delta, Delta County Historical Society and Museum, KVNF and Delta Center for Spiritual Living.
The number of deserving nominees in all the award categories illustrate why so many people are proud to call Delta home.