SUNMAN – Sunman Area Chamber of Commerce members summed up their accomplishments and recognized community members at their Nov. 6 annual appreciation banquet at Kenneth L. Diver American Legion Post 337.
President Natasha Bischoff said the board of directors “work very well together. We are a team .... (and) our members and businesses have really stepped up this year.
“We started the year off with our golf tournament and had 20 teams .... We had breakfast with the Easter Bunny prior to the Easter egg hunt sponsored by the Sunman Beautification Committee.
“Sunman Daze was the first Friday and Saturday in June.” This was a time for “the entire town to show what we have to offer .... The wine festival, wow! We had a lot of changes this year. One of the biggest was the date change, the Saturday after Labor Day. Another new thing was .... the Salute a Soldier 5K. We had a great turnout, and it was a great start to our wine festival.”
To round out the year, the group is hosting a holiday parade and bazaar Friday, Nov. 22, she noted (please see related article).
Moving on to 2014, Bischoff revealed, “The circus will be coming back to town Monday, May 5. We are looking forward to some more lunch and learns and after hours events. The farmers’ market will continue.”
She also pointed out, “I know there have been a lot of people who have passed away or are going through some illnesses,” so she asked those in attendance to take a moment of silence to think of them.
Vice President Anna Ibold presented three Teacher of the Year Awards.
The first honoree was to Debbie Gregg, St. Nicholas School eighth-grade educator. Ibold read some of the comments from parents and students to describe her. “‘She’s an awesome teacher. She loves and respects each student and knows when to be an authoritative teacher and when to have fun. She’s a teacher who truly cares and loves all the children. She’s an excellent teacher who explains things very well.’”
Chelsey Dudley, Sunman Elementary School second-grade teacher, is a volunteer coach for Girls on the Run and is on many school committees. “‘She is a leader in the technology movement. She is a good teacher. She is very nice and punishes you when you need to be,’” Ibold read.
Rick Moorman, East Central High School math teacher, “‘is a role model for teachers and staff. Everyone really respects him. He’s a great teacher and coach, as well as a mentor. He goes above and beyond. Because he respects his students, they respect him,’” Ibold noted from the nomination forms.
Sunman IGA was named Business of the Year. Owner Joe Jester has transformed the store to better serve the community, Ibold revealed. “The amount of time that Joe and his crew put into helping the chamber and other organizations is great. We appreciate all the generosity he has shown to the community.”
Jester was unable to attend because he had a preplanned vacation, but store manager Karen Knueven read a letter from him. “‘We improved service, and customers responded .... We promise to continue to improve going forward and look forward to being part of the successful commerce of Sunman.’”
Rita Seig received the Citizen of the Year Award. She was involved in Girls on the Run, Court Appointed Special Advocates and chaired the Ripley County Relay for Life for one year. She also organized the first CASA 5K run/walk in town.
“This past year, Rita took on the Salute a Soldier 5K Run/Walk. She decided Sunman needed a 5K that belonged to them,” reported Julie Brock.
“She has four children and a husband, and she runs a business. She has given so much and always has a smile on her face. She’s a cheerleader for anything Sunman has going on.”
Special recognitions were given to two men who have served the town in various capacities over the years.
Darrell Salatin, who was unable to attend, was one of the founders of the Sunman Area Life Squad and was past president of that organization, revealed Carla Hacker. He served as a Sunman-Dearborn Community School Corp. trustee, Sunman American Legion past commander and chamber board member.
John Campbell has been involved in civic, school and church organizations for decades. He served on the town council from 1992-2011. The U.S. Army veteran is also a Legion member. He has been married to his wife, Shirley, for over 58 years, Hacker announced.
Diane Raver can be contacted at email@example.com or 812-934-4343, Ext. 114.