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Honored By The Chamber

By Staff | Mar 1, 2011

Emmetsburg Chamber of Commerce honored five community members at the Annual Chamber Banquet held Friday, Feb. 25. Honorees pictured (from the left) are Greg and Steve Hoyman, recipients of the Chamber Catalyst Award; Donna Kunz, recipient of the Charles A. Hughes Citizen of the Year Award; and Rick Jones and Brent McAllister, recipients of the Chamber Volunteer Service Award. --Jane Whitmore photo

It was a night of celebration at the 2011 Emmetsburg Chamber of Commerce Annual Banquet. Members honored community and fellow chamber members and celebrated “Moving it Forward … Together.”

Highlight of the evening was naming the 2011 Citizen of the Year, which followed a banquet meal and entertainment by the quartet “Destination.”

Donna Kunz received the prestigious award, nominated by friends Ann Carney and Marcie Frevert. Chamber board member Tim McCain read the nomination and introduced the Citizen of the Year for 2011.

Ann Carney wrote:?”Her volunteer hours, as well as the variety of her work, equals or exceeds anyone I know. Not only does she give her time willingly, her diligence and the quality of her work are exceptional. Her years of service are also lengthy. Our community is indeed richer because of her and I’d like to see her honored for yer efforts.”

The letter was brief, but Donna Kunz’s accomplishments as a volunteer were lengthy: Board member and secretary of the Emmetsburg Educational Foundation; St. Pat’s Board, board secretary, membership chairman, volunteer at the gift store and went with the St. Pat’s Association to Des Moines for Legislative Night; VFW Auxiliary, Senior Vice President and community volunteer; Palo Alto County Hospital Auxiliary, past president, membership chairman and chairman of the Auxiliary’s UNIFUND drive; served for ten years as liaison with the Governor of Iowa, reporting special events of the people of the community; for four years served on the State of Iowa Board of Federation of Women’s Club scholarship selection committee, and past president of Emmetsburg Federated Women’s Club; works on special projects, making sure the residents of Kathleen’s Residential Care are always remembered at Christmas and on May Day; Bingo volunteer at Lakeside Lutheran Home; retired teacher of Emmetsburg Community School District, 32 years teaching Kindergarten and first grade, served two terms as representative of the local teachers association, plus taught five years in Ruthven, two years in Boone and two years in Webster City to equal 42 years as a teacher; also an RSVP person; served as Ward?IV caucus team chair; retired teacher contact and helper with the fall open house at West Elementary; past board member of the Arts Council; past committee worker for the first RAGBRAI that went through Emmetsburg; and supporter of the Arts Council and Main Street Community Theatre.

McCain noted that he was president of Emmetsburg Chamber of Commerce in 2002 and welcomed Donna to fill in for the chamber secretary for two months.

“Thank you to all of you and to everyone that came,” said Donna Kunz. “This is a very humbling and rewarding feeling to be honored by your peers.

“When I was substituting for Michelle (Westfall, chamber secretary), my desk faced the wall and on the wall was a plaque of all the past winners for Citizen of the Year. To me they were very important people who had done so much for this community. Well, I don’t think of myself as a very important person, but as a volunteer in practice. The community has become my family.”

Even though Donna Kunz is retired from 42 years of teaching and motivating students, she is still teaching. “Motivation is the same as selling skills. You are trying to sell them (students) the skills they are learning. I could not join the would’ves, the should’ves and the could’ves and I had to keep busy so I became a volunteer in practice.”

With that, Donna Kunz opened her file and began “selling” – a paver for the Emmetsburg Educational Foundation, a membership to the St. Patrick’s Association, a St. Pat’s raffle ticket, membership to the Palo Alto County Hospital Auxiliary, and for the ladies a membership in the VFW Auxiliary or Emmetsburg Federated Women’s Club.

“Never miss an opportunity to sell,” Donna said with a smile.. “to all of you who had a part in giving me this honor, thank you very much.”

Catalyst Award

The 2011 Chamber Catalyst Award was presented to honorees from the chamber community, chamber nominated and chamber chosen by their peers.

“This award celebrates a chamber member who is a leader by example through inspiration, charity, wisdom and the breath of life. This award acknowledges and honors this exemplary level of commitment to the community of Emmetsburg,” explained Chamber Director Deb Hite.

“Tonight’s honorees are a team working together a generation apart, described by chamber members as humble, positive members, not afraid to give something a try, level headed and positive thinking,” said Hite.

Greg and Steve Hoyman’s accomplishments showed they are leaders by example:?National Pharmacist of the Year award, 2005 Charles A. Hughes Citizen of the Year, active committee members who work with others to build an all-weather track at the high school, a little league board member who is continually working to make improvements in the program and in the field, dedicated to bring trails to Emmetsburg.

“The recipients of this award look forward with inspiration, wisdom and charity,” said Hite. “They are one of the founders of Chamber LP radio 94.1 KEMB-LP – and in a breath of life we saw a serious amount of investment in Emmetsburg with the purchase and remodeling of the Riviera Theatre. Thinking outside the box, marketing the community asset for full screen football games, business seminars, birthday parties and xBox tournaments. This father and son team own and operate at least four businesses:?Hughes Pharmacy in Emmetsburg, The Villager in West Bend, Institutional Pharmacy and the Riviera Theatre.”

Greg Hoyman spoke, giving thanks for himself and his son.'”Getting into the theatre business is not something that we really started out to do. Steve Heldt talked to me one time about the fact that we were going to lose our theatre so I sat down with (son) Steve and asked if he was interested in getting involved in the movie theatre business. He stepped forward and said sure, what have we got to lose. We’ve learned a lot about the movie industry. So far?I?haven’t been able to retire on it, but we’re having a lot of fun with it. It’s the involvement of the community, the involvement of merchants with merchant movies and all the other things that go to make it work. We want to thank the community for this show of support.”

Volunteer Service

The 2011 Chamber Volunteer Service Award honors individuals who are independent or associated with chamber member businesses and who have donated large amounts of their time and talent in service to the Chamber of Commerce. The award is chamber nominated and selected.

“This year’s recipients are very deserving gentlemen who have made tremendous time commitments week after week during the school year, spending most weekends away from family on Friday nights. They spend numerous hours studying teams and getting to know players and parents, and sometimes broadcasting E-Hawk football from the bleachers,” said Deb Hite.?”They say they love it and have a great time. They have made KEMB-LP a hometown radio station and they do all this as volunteers.”

Brent McAllister and Rick Jones bring E-Hawk football to listeners each fall.

“If I had to give one piece of advice to anybody, if you want to volunteer find something you really like to do, then it’s not like work. What Jonsie and I do is like a hobby. We have a great time and we both love E-Hawk athletics. I like being on the radio and Jonsie has made it a lot of fun,” said Brent McAllister.

Rick Jones added to those words, “First of all I want to thank Brent because he’s the one that asked me to do this. We have so many people come up to us during the season and complement us about what we’re doing and carrying the radio. Like Brent said, it’s a lot of fun and we enjoy it and E-Hawk sports sells itself. Thank you.”