Record Crowd Attends 134th Annual Oskaloosa Chamber and Development Group Banquet

The 134th Annual Oskaloosa Area Chamber and Development Group Banquet was held last night at the Peppertree in Oskaloosa.

According to the Josh Buckingham, Chamber and Main Street Oskaloosa President, the crowd of over 150 people was the largest in the banquet’s history.

The evening got underway with official activity with a dessert auction. The desserts were donated from several businesses or citizens and auctioned with the funds going towards the OACDG. Some of the finer desserts went for as high as 500 dollars.

After that, short speeches from Josh Buckingham and Chamber Director Valinn McReynolds helped explain this year’s theme and the year it was for the OACDG. McReynolds said the theme was Power of Pink, which was chosen to highlight the strength and contribution of the women of Mahaska County. She also said the plaques that were given out were made by Doug Swim at Swim’s Sports, and thanked him for all he’s done for the community. Swim’s Sports was heavily damaged during the fire earlier this week.

Following those speeches, Jeff Akers came to the stage to hand out the awards.

The Diplomat Awards led off, and the Old Oak Award was awarded to KBOE Radio for all the radio station has meant to the community. To be eligible for this award, the company must be in business for 20 years or more.

The Acorn Award for a company that has been in business for less than 20 years went to Town Square Dental Care.

Next were the Golden Dipper Awards, awarded to the two people who were present at the most events put on by the Chamber. KBOE’s Cindy Reed Shull received the runner up award by attending 47 of 65 events, and Pat McCulley received the Golden Dipper Award by attending 58 of the 65 events.
Next up was the Commerce Awards.

The Retail Business of the Year was Stam Greenhouse. The Service Business of the Year went to the dental office of Dr. Tom Bowie. The Industry of the Year went to Cunningham Incorporated. The Business Person of the Year went to Kelli Steil, a State Farm Agent. The Community Improvement Award went to Fisher Investments Limited. The Educator of the Year went to Oskaloosa High School Social Studies teacher and Osky High Softball coach Jay Harms. Student of the Year was awarded to Jamie Stewart, who has been active in music, tennis, and student council, among other activities. The Citizen of the Year went to Marsha Riordan of William Penn University.

The Main Street Award was next, and was for Volunteer of the Year. This year, the award went to Jerry Zear, who is known as “The Sound Guy” to Oskaloosa Main Street. He was thanked especially for his role in the Lighted Christmas Parade the last 27 years.

Mahaska County Agricultural and Rural Development presented the Mahaska Young Professional of the Year, which went to Wyndell Campbell, a State Farm Agent and active member of the community.

The Mahaska Community Development Group handed out the final award of the evening, which was for the Economic Development Project of the Year. That award went to Pella Security Products, Inc. They produce customizable gun safes and accessories.

Overall, members of the board believed the night was truly successful on many fronts, and thanked the large crowd for making it a night to remember.


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