The Sunbury/Big Walnut Area Chamber of Commerce held its annual dinner meeting Thursday evening at the NorthStar Golf Club in Sunbury.
“We’ve had quite a year with 49 new members,” said Executive Director John Fox. That is a record number for the chamber, added Board President Wendy Weiler.
Fox said the interest reflects the growth of Delaware County, particularly in the eastern portion. In addition, there were more than 90 vendors for the annual Business Expo & Job Fair at Big Walnut High School. Next year’s expo is moved up a few weeks to April 2, Fox said.
Next, awards were given out to those who “surpassed obligations,” Fox said. The Business of the Year Award went to chamber neighbor James Hildreth, American Family Insurance. The New Business of the Year Award went to Dave Burgett, financial advisor for Edward Jones. The Volunteer of the Year was Carolyn Howard of Big Walnut Friends Who Share (BWFWS). The Employee of the Year (and a new chamber board member) was Jeremy Buskirk, treasurer of Big Walnut Local Schools. The Chamber Service Award went to Chauncey Montgomery, who heads the Community Library; and Shawn Walker, president of Table Rock Construction in Sunbury.
There was also a new honor, the Community Betterment Award, given to Glenn and Donna Evans. Daughter Marla Evans said her parents have silently paid for many a field trip, and if her mom would say to someone she’d pray for you, she actually did.
Lastly, Chip Carpenter conducted a bidding auction of table centerpieces as well as two bicycles. There was also a silent auction from local businesses, including a Gazette subscription. Proceeds from the auctions went to two local nonprofits — BWFWS and Ohio Fallen Heroes Memorial (OFHM).
BWFWS President Larry Tornes said they are once again seeking a new home in the next year. They have a food, clothes, toy and furniture pantry to help families in need. “See if you can find space for us,” Tornes said to the members.
Gold Star Mom Deb Nealon from OFHM said they need to raise $25,000 yearly to maintain the field to remember servicemen and women who gave their lives in the war on terrorism. “Please help us to make sure their service and sacrifice are not forgotten,” she said.
The next major event presented by the chamber is Christmas on the Square, which will take place from 4-8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 7. For more information, visit www.sunburybigwalnutchamber.com.
Gary Budzak may be reached at 740-413-0906 or on Twitter @GaryBudzak.