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Hotchkiss Mayor Larry Wilkening, seen here speaking at a North Fork Recreation District event, was named Citizen of the Year by the Hotchkiss Community Chamber of Commerce. 

It was a big night for the Hotchkiss Community Chamber of Commerce as it named its annual award winners, elected new officers and enjoyed a fun time of community fellowship.

Mayor Larry Wilkening was named Citizen of the Year, Business of the Year was Wellspring Vitality and Nonprofit of the Year went to the Creamery Arts Center.

Shay said the chamber gave a Special Recognition Award to artist and town board member Mary Hockenbery for “all she’s done for the town over the years.” Hockenbery was recently awarded the prestigious Colorado Creative Industries Governor’s Change Leadership Award.

The chamber held its annual elections to replace three board members who stepped down this year. Leaving the board were Nathan Sponseller, Sue Whittlesey. and President Mitch Swanda, who recently moved out of the area.

Kim Shay will serve as president while newly elected officers include Terry O’Brien, Lenore Cambria and Shelley Ware. Ware will serve as vice-president, O’Brien as treasurer and Tracy Ihnot will remain as secretary.

The chamber announced that it is changing the monthly meeting to 8:30 a.m. on the last Thursday of the month. Meetings will be held at the Hotchkiss Museum. Citizens are encouraged to attend.

Shay said the event drew in a large crowd, with excellent food provided by Taco Hut and Farm Runners.

Lisa Young is a staff writer for the Delta County Independent.

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