UNION CITY, Ind. — Thursday evening, the Elk’s Lodge in Union City, Indiana hosted the 2018 Union City Chamber of Commerce Banquet.
The event was headed by Dennis Pratt, who was master of ceremonies. His humorous remarks brought laughter from the entire audience. Dinner for the evening was provided by Bouser’s Barn from Union City. After everyone finished with their meals, Pratt introduced each of the three speakers.
Chad Spence began, speaking of the newest addition planned for Union City.
“There is a certified daycare coming to Union City,” he said.
Union City, Wesley United Methodist Church, and Randolph County YMCA have all partnered together to make the daycare come to fruition. It will not only be a daycare, though. Spence said one part of the building will house a gymnasium for AU sports.
“What’s critical is a good foundation. This project will serve the needs of the kids of every youth in this community. That’s our goal. Our youth are the foundation of this community,” said Spence.
The cost of the daycare and gymnasium is $800,000 but the project has already been approved for a grant from the State of Indiana for $500,000. Other contributions have come from the Wesley United Methodist Church for $70,000, $12,000 from the Community Foundation, $69,123 from the City of Union City and $100,000 from the Economic Development Committee of Randolph County.
Currently, there is $48,000 left to fund the construction. Spence said they have targeted May 2019 for a completion time.
Jan Aukerman was the second speaker and he spoke about his idea for doing a Dancing With The Stars competition. He said he wanted to bring entertainment to Union City so people don’t need to travel outside of the city to enjoy a night out.
Aukerman said what made him think of Dancing With The Stars was when he attended a World Dance Competition. Nearly 18 different countries came and danced, Japan being among them. Japan thanked the dancers from the U.S. for supporting them during the tsunami. There was so much change since WWII times, he said. He wanted to honor his father and other veterans who aided that change.
“Dancing brings people together,” he said. “I started Dancing With The Stars as a tribute to all of our service men and women.”
Pictures of men and women veterans are shown before every Dancing With The Stars competition begins. All the money raised goes directly to the Elks lodge cancer fund and the Chamber of Commerce funds.
The last speaker of the evening was President of the Board of Directors for the Chamber of Commerce Susan Linder.
“We are here to honor the businesses and volunteers we feel have helped make Union City a great place to live,” she said. “The chamber is here to work for you.”
Seven awards were given out at the banquet. Two Distinguished Service Awards went to Roy Keagy and Terry and Dianna Dowler. The Rising Star Award was given to Sutton’s Foods. Female Volunteer of the Year was awarded to Barb Landress-Gentry. Male Volunteer of the Year went to Pastor Brian Jenkins. The Hub Award was given to NAPA, which is owned by Kim Day and the Outstanding Business of the Year went to Pak-A-Sak.