Chamber taps Wade, Hill, others for annual awards
- The Gibbs family accepts the Corporate Citizen of the Year Award
By Becky Brooks
The Bellevue Chamber of Commerce held its annual meeting and awards banquet Saturday night with nearly 65 people in attendance.
The event was held at the Bellevue Society of the Arts.
David Freytag presented the Commercial Award commenting about the winner, “He puts his heart and soul into everything he does.”
Wilbur Wade was presented the award. Wade, who admitted to being somewhat ill that evening, spoke from the front of the room.
“Four years ago I came to this town and I knew one person,” he said. He also talked about the projects he has gotten involved with including the Committee to Grow Bellevue.
“I really feel Bellevue is here,” Wade stated. “I think it’s going to explode. I feel there are good things on the horizon.”
The Community Enhancement Award was presented by Pastor Bruce Kent to Touch The Heart Youth Ministries. One of the recipients for the group award, Marv Meyers, told the audience that the ministry was started in the Bellevue City Schools.
He commented that the Touch The Heart Youth Ministries really began in 2003 when he was afraid the work started earlier would actually end after his retirement from the schools.
Others pointed out that with the land donated by the Jim and Nancy Shelley to the organization, the ministry began a fishing ministry.
A member of the group, Doug Gildenmeister, said the property now has a shelterhouse, basketball court, and volleyball court.
Attending and accepting the Community Enhancement Award were: Rev. John and Jodi Ginty, Rev. Bruce Kent, Marv and Shirley Meyers, Larry and Marg Rector, Doug and Sue Gildenmeister, Revs Ron and Rita Smith, Mr.and Mrs. Michael Becks, and Trina Donnersbach.
Tom Barth presented the Corporate Citizen of the Year Award to Gibbs Equipment with Gordon and Kathy Gibbs plus Mike and Michelle Gibbs accepting the honor.
Barth shared that in 1970, Gordon Gibbs purchased the Bellevue Implement Company and in 1975 changed the name to Gibbs Equipment. Today Michael Gibbs is president and Gordon Gibbs is the CEO. The business today has 20 employees.
“The dealership has survived and grown while others have closed up,” Barth pointed out.
Gordon Gibbs thanked the chamber for the award. “I am not sure longevity has much to do with success,” he commented in front of the chamber members, “but people do. We have great people.”
The next award was presented by Sylvia Sackett. The Distinguished Service Award was given to Thankful Hearts, which was represented by LaRose Meadows, Jane Bailey, and Carol Schubert.
The women were listed as the organizing trio for the ministry that provides community meals twice a month. The women pointed out that the organization has 23 businesses, church groups and families already committed to providing meals to the community for the entire 2012 year.
The Citizen of the Year Award was presented to retired, long-time teacher Sharon Hill, who now volunteers for the Salvation Army.
Presenter Jane Bailey reported that Hill had taken on the Bellevue Kettle Campaign in 2010.
Hill accepted the award on behalf of the whole local Salvation Army group.
“I taught 30 years in Family and Consumer Science Program,” she said, noting most of those years were at Bellevue High School.
Hill pointed out that part of that program was teaching youths to be involved in community service so it was not much of a stretch for her to work for the Salvation Army after she retired.
“I told them I don’t do this for recognition,” she stated.
Earlier in the evening, Chamber President Bonnie Bell introduced the awards committee and past award winners at the dinner.
She also presented the Retiring Director Award to Ken Dendinger, of Dendinger Brothers. He served from 2006 to 2011.