The annual Chamber Banquet is a very special occasion when we have the opportunity to honor our very own - our friends. That was the case last Friday night.
Congratulations, again, to Citizen of the Year Donna Kunz; Chamber Catalyst Award recipients, Greg and Steve Hoyman; and to Chamber Volunteer Service Award recipients, Brent McAllister and Rick Jones. Here we have five people who give selflessly of their time and talents.
Listening to each of these people accept their awards, they receive personal satisfaction for their volunteer efforts.
Donna Kunz refers to herself as a "volunteer in practice." When you see her around town, she always wears a smile as she "sells" her community projects. It was interesting when she talked about teaching and motivating students.
"Motivation is the same as selling skills," she said. "You are trying to sell (students) the skills they are learning."
Once a teacher, always a teacher. Donna puts her 42 year teaching career to good use as she goes about her new "profession" as a volunteer. Every day, every place she goes, Donna promotes/teaches the values of community. So it was appropriate that during her acceptance speech for Citizen of the Year that she offered to get more people involved in the Emmetsburg Educational Association, St. Patrick's Foundation, Palo Alto County Hospital Auxiliary, VFW Auxiliary and the Federated Women's Club.
Greg and Steve Hoyman are always taking on new projects - it's just in their nature. When we needed space for the first community entrance sign, Greg and Steve stepped forward. Without hesitation, they offered the corner of their property as a site for the giant rocks...at no cost to the city.
Over the years the Hoymans have absorbed assets into their downtown location that would have been lost to the community. They brought in photo processing and they brought in scrapbooking supplies. They also ventured into the movie business with purchase and renovation of the Riviera Theatre. Their service to the community through service on committees is invaluable...and extensive.
There are E-Hawk fans and there are E-Hawk fans. Brent McAllister and Rick Jones promote the E-Hawks all year long. But in the fall, they are the voices of E-Hawk football on KEMB-LP, broadcasting games to listeners far and wide. And they truly enjoy the opportunity.
Brent wrote sports for The Reporter &?The Democrat for a few years. Rick is a former E-Hawk coach (he actually coached Brent for three seasons).
"We have a great time," McAllister said at the banquet. "We both love E-Hawk athletics." Jones added, "It's a lot of fun and we enjoy it."
The common thread among these five people is the word "volunteer." There is no paycheck involved. They are friends of the community and they promote the community with pride and conviction. They are helping to make Emmetsburg a better place to call home.
Thank you for being our friends.