The Fort Scott Area Chamber of Commerce hosted their Annual Dinner and Awards celebration Thursday evening, with about 200 members of the community attending to show support to the chamber and those businesses and individuals awarded for their service to the community.
With the theme of Funky Town, speakers such as master of ceremonies Mark McCoy and chamber Executive Director Lindsay Madison emphasized the uniqueness of the city of Fort Scott and its residents and businesses.
“Our community is unique,” Madison said, saying the city’s history, attractions, businesses and people contribute to the area’s “funkiness” that she said can be used to draw others to Fort Scott.
Chairman of the Chamber Board Reta Baker and past recipients presented awards to the 2016 winners, nominated by members of the chamber. Baker said this year they received an increase in nominations as more people participated in the process of awarding individuals and businesses for their service to the community and employees.
Megan Felt of the Lowell Milken Center was named Young Professional of the Year, Melissa Wise of Wise Accounting received the Community Spirit Award, E3 Ranch was named the Agri-Business of the year, Sleep Inn & Suites the New Business of the Year, La Hacienda the Small Business of the Year, Peerless Products, Inc., the Large Business of the Year, and Reta Baker the Business Person of the Year.
Frank Halsey of Mid-Continental Restoration Co., Inc., received the Mayor’s Citizenship Award for his work at the family business as well as his involvement in the community through the creation of the Gunn Park Bike Trails, as a member of the CASA board of directors, the Knights of Columbus and board of directors for the Fort Scott Area Community Foundation.
“Thank you so much for your dedication and your hard work in serving Fort Scott,” Mayor Cindy Bartelsmeyer said to Halsey, who said he likes getting involved because he can learn from others he meets and that he believed there are many others who deserved the award as well.
The esteemed Keystone Award was awarded to Jim and Martha Scott, business owners as well as volunteers in many areas over recent decades such as through the Chamber of Commerce, Rotary, tourism, and starting the Forks and Corks: Taste of Fort Scott event, Moonlight and Mistletoe Tour, Friends of the Fort, the Symbols of Sacrifice at the National Historic Site and the Secret Garden Tour and several other organizations and events.
“I can’t think of a better town or a better place to live than Fort Scott, Kansas,” Jim Scott said, saying it is a great place to raise a family and grow old.
The evening also included live and silent auctions of items donated by numerous local businesses and individuals, included but not limited to Nate’s Place, USD 34, Velocity Ammunition, Walgreens, Vinedo del Alamo Winery, J & W Sports Shop, Bids & Dibs, Papa Don’s, Fort Cinema and the Gordon Parks Museum. Numerous other businesses also donated their time and finances to the event.
“We sincerely appreciate all of the community’s support for the chamber and the work that we do for the community,” Madison said.