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Chamber presents awards and elects officers PDF Print E-mail

By Jan Rahn

Managing Editor

Presentation of awards, election of officers, and a meal with fellow members was the focus of the annual Perkins County Chamber of Commerce meeting and banquet held at Westview Retirement Community in Grant last Thursday night.

Prior to giving up the office for 2010, Chamber President Kandi McClung gave a recap of the highlights of her year at the helm of the organization. 

2009 Year in Review

First Dollars were presented to several chamber businesses during the past year, including: Grant Auto Parts, South Forks Vineyard, Joe Langin of Farm Bureau, Ride Rite Garage, Plainsman Properties, Grant Floral, and Poppe’s Posies.

Chamber assisted in numerous events throughout 2009 which included the annual garage sales with 37 participants, Thunder on the Hi-Line Relay for Life fundraising, Fourth of July celebration, fireworks donations, sponsorship of Walk Ons Husker’s Edge evening in the park, community breakfast during the Perkins County Fair, and Christmas open house during November in downtown Grant.

After presentation of the awards to outstanding organization, outstanding citizen, and outstanding chamber member, McClung turned the meeting over to Cindy Salsman, 2010 Perkins County Chamber president.

Chamber Awards

Outstanding Organization: The area Thrivent chapter was selected as this year’s Outstanding Organization by Perkins County Chamber. 

In a letter of nomination, Dr. Marvin Swan pointed out that the Thrivent organization has helped with many community projects in Madrid, Grant and Venango over the years. 


No matter who the needy person or family is, Thrivent Financial always strives to help with matching dollars whenever possible, said Swan. 

“I don’t recall all of their projects from this year, but they were as active as ever,” said the letter.

Darrell Pierce of Zion Lutheran Church accepted the award on behalf of the Thrivent for Lutherans organization.

Citizen of the Year: Because of the contribution made to Perkins County, the community, and their church, Chuck and Bobi Brown are the recipients of the Citizen of the Year Award, nominated by Ted Tietjen and Kevin Poppe.

The Browns moved to Grant in 2007 from Kansas to be closer to their children and grandchildren. They spent the next year-and-a-half restoring a historical building to make it their main street home. 

They have preserved the historical significance of the old structure and have generously hosted tours of the former courthouse/post office/bank at the corner of Third and Central. 


Accepting the award at the banquet was their daughter Kris Aerni. The Browns will be presented the award during a regular chamber meeting in February. 

Outstanding Chamber Member: Although on vacation and unable to attend the banquet, former president Ronda Lawyer is the recipient of this year’s Outstanding Chamber Member award based on her outstanding leadership in several organizations.

Lawyer was nominated for this year’s award by Chamber members Bernie Deaver, Tarra Terry and Kandi McClung. 

In his letter of nomination, Deaver said, “It seems whenever the call is put out for people to spend time on a community project, she is there. Nobody has been any more active in the Chamber of Commerce year after year.

Besides being actively involved in all of the chamber’s events, Lawyer also has helped the school foundation with dinner theater fundraisers, and has also been there to volunteer with the museum, library and numerous other committees along the way, said Deaver.

Election of Officers

Chamber members present at the banquet elected officers by secret ballot just prior to the award presentations. 

Chamber’s new president for 2010 is Cindy Salsman. Vice-president-elect is Bernard Deaver.

Donna Burge will again serve as the organization’s treasurer, and Brenda Metcalf was re-elected as secretary.

Two-year board members elected were Justin Coats and Dawnya Dreiling. Tarra Terry and Jason Noyes will remain as board members for another year.