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Every year local residents of Lincoln County are honored at the Chamber of Commerce Banquet and this year’s 55th Annual Awards and Installation was no exception. On Saturday, January 19, many men and women took the stage to say their “thank yous” to the community. The night started out with two of the most anticipated awards, Man and Woman of the Year. This year, past recipients Roger Keisey and Mary Sue Thompson had the pleasure of passing on the honor of Man and Woman of the Year Awards to Jan Bettencourt, and Ben Burkemper.
Mary Sue Thompson said this about Jan Bettencourt… “This woman is a long-time member of the Troy community. A professional woman, who has lived, worked and worshipped in the community much of her adult life. However, she is not originally from Missouri.
On Sunday mornings, she will be found “joyfully” serving by singing in her church choir. For pleasure, she line dances with the Lincoln County Kickers. She is a grandmother and great-grandmother.
This woman has made the Troy community a better place to live due to her outstanding accomplishments in at least two specific areas.”
As Thompson explained, Bettencourt has focused on two very special organizations during her time here in Lincoln County; they are the Special Olympics and the Veteran’s Coffee Talk. Bettencourt has worked with the Special Olympics for the past 18 years and has helped them to grow from just one sport to four different ones with 68 athletes involved. Bettencourt is the historian for the Veteran’s Coffee Talk and has put a lot of time into speaking with the local veterans and making a booklet with a page for each veteran that attends the meetings. After thanking everyone for the support, Bettencourt left the crowd with wise words, “God gives us opportunities, you just have to recognize them when they come along.”
Roger Kiesey followed up with the presentation of the Man of the Year. In much anticipation, it was announce that Ben Burkemper would represent the 2012 Man of the Year. Kiesey spoke this about Burkemper… “He is married to Sarah Hartmann and they have three children. He is a member of the Kawanis Club of Troy and is past President. He is also a member of Lincoln County Historical Society, Sacred Heart Church, Troy Chamber of Commerce and has served as an Associate Circuit Judge in Lincoln County since September 2001. During his tenure as Associate Circuit Judge, he was instrumental in bringing mediation to the 45th Judicial Circuit in 2003, and was also instrumental in the creation of Drug Courts in the circuit in 2004.” Burkemper added after receiving his award, “I wouldn’t be able to do the things I do without the love and support of the community.”
Both Bettencourt and Burkemper were given special honors from State Representative, Ed Schieffer as he presented them with a framed resolution stating their achievements in Lincoln County.
Presentation for the Give Back Award was given by last year’s recipient, Toyota-Bodine Aluminum, Inc., Terry Henderson represented the local business. The 2012’s Give Back Award was awarded to a business which just recently celebrated their 50th anniversary within the community, Thornhill Real Estate and Auction Company. Serving the community has been very important to them and they hope to continue to do so for many more year. David and Brenda Thornhill accepted the plaque.
Troy area Chamber of Commerce Leadership Troy class of 2013 were honored and thanked for all they have done this past year. Those who participated were: Thomas Artru, Katelyn Bottem, Christina Buchheit, Betty Cox, Jerry Cox, Mark Cross, Julie Feast, Kelsey Flynn, John Glenn, Matt Schieffer, Gayleen Sizemore, and Mark Thorn.
Judge Jim Beck proudly installed the 2013 officers and directors of the Chamber of Commerce. These members consist of: Executive Committee – President, Kevin Hurd; President Elect, Katie Synor; Vice President, Ron Mills; Secretary, John Kinion; Treasure, Gina Bueneman-Cooper; Past President, Kathryn Ragsdale – Three Year Board Terms – Casey Hopkins, Vicky Menne, Masqud Mir, John Werenski – Two Year Board Terms – Terry Boling, Jeff Geisendorfer, Rick Meyer, Mary Sullivan-Thomas – One Year Board Term – Ashley Cobb, Kathy Colbert, Kevin Conner, Julie Feast. Staff for the Chamber of Commerce includes Kerry Klump, and Kecia Vaccaro. Staff for the License Bureau includes Carolyn Mooney, April Anderson, Dorothy Caldwell, Phyllis Crosby-Roedner, Christy McClure and Rachele Presley.
Past President, Kathryn Ragsdale gave a speech stating how proud she was to be able to work with such great people and knows that only the best is still to come. She explained how grateful she was to have the opportunity serve as the president of the Chamber of Commerce. Ragsdale then awarded Kevin Hurd, of Cuirvre River Electric, as the new Chamber of Commerce president.
A new award brought out a few tears in the crowd as Betty Hunter was presented with the Betty Hunter Legacy Award. This award was made to show how grateful everyone is for all that she has done for the community, and the Chamber of Commerce. She has been, and continues to be, very instrumental in the success of the Chamber of Commerce. Betty was surprised by her family and friends with flowers and a special plaque.
Lincoln County is very lucky to have so many great people helping to make bigger and better things happen in the community. The night was full of music that was provided by the Scott Laytham and Karl Holmes Due, fantastic food from Monty’s BBQ and the recognition of many deserving individuals.