UNION CITY, Ind. — “Building Our Future Together” was the theme of this year’s Union City Chamber of Commerce Banquet held Thursday at Mississinawa Valley Schools, where numerous awards were presented to individuals, organizations and businesses.
Brian Merrill served as master of ceremonies for the evening program, which also featured a dinner catered by Bouser’s Barn. Entertainment was provided by the Swinging Hawks, Mississinawa Valley’s swing and jazz choirs.
Special speakers for the evening were Greg Beumer of Randolph County Economic Development and Mike Bowers of Darke County Economic Development, as well as Chamber President Susan Linder. Each one of them updated the audience with happenings within their respective organizations.
Beumer talked about such topics as consolidations and new construction.
“We’re trying to change the way we look in community development,” he said. “A tip of the hat to the administration who is doing something about deteriorating properties and dealing with landlords by keeping rentals up to code. We are working to bridge the gap. Good things are happening here. Keep it up.”
“I’m here to give you Darke County’s side of the equation,” said Bowers, who spoke of various expansions in the county. “Darke County is the second oldest county in Ohio. How do we engage the next generation to work in various offices and organizations? We are putting together a NexGen group. We have an emerging work force for high school kids and talking to them about careers and good opportunities. We’re working with local career tech programs. There is a manufacturing camp this summer with local manufacturers. It is a first-time event. We want to bring career awareness to seventh- and eighth-graders.”
Linder then talked about the current membership drive.
“This past year, the Chamber focused on shopping local and supporting small businesses,” she said. “We ask for your support. We’re in this together.”
Awards presented were:
Special Achievement Awards to Reagan Hoggatt, daughter of Brad and Amy Hoggatt, and Sidnie Hunt, daughter of daughter of Wade and Billie Hunt.
Distinguished Service Awards to Myrna Brenner (not in attendance), who was one of the first people to be on board when Preservation (the local society) formed to save the historic Kirshbaum Building; Community Help Center; and Wesley United Methodist Church, pastored by Geoff Grow, who gave the invocation at the banquet.
Rising Star Awards to Freedom’s A&W Root Beer, Union City Country Club and Oliver’s Butcher Shop.
Female Volunteer of the Year to Anita Amspaugh, a lifetime Union City resident.
Male Volunteer of the Year to Brad Hoggatt, a fourth-grade teacher and Music K-6 at North Side.
Hub Award to Citizens State Bank.
Outstanding Business of the Year to Jim Keen of Keen’s Auto Sales.