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2014 “Taste Of Fennville: A Food And Art Event”
Posted: Jan 30, 2014

Despite the cold and snow the Greater Fennville Chamber of Commerce members gathered at Fenn Valley Vineyards to celebrate the 2014 Annual Banquet, “Taste of Fennville: A food and art event.”

Beautifully displayed art pieces handcrafted by The Blue Coast Artists and Brazilian Shack added to the ambiance while music by the Bob Gray Band filled the air.

The Greater Fennville Chamber of Commerce Board President, Paul Hix, welcomed everyone and kicked off the celebration by introducing the 2013 recipients of two very prestigious awards: The Robert Hutchinson Citizen of the Year, and Business of the Year. 

The recipient of Robert Hutchinson Citizen of the Year Award for 2013 was presented to Dawn  Soltysiak. In addition to operating her home based business, Dawn has also contributed to the community by donating her time  and talents by giving back  locally and by providing activities that benefit the overall area. In addition to volunteering her time by sharing her talents with visitors to the Forever Curious Children’s Museum and students from the area schools she has also served as a volunteer at God’s Kitchen. Dawn is a leader within the Blue Coast Artists organization and most recently founded the Lakeshore Harvest Country which promotes  area farmers and farm markets which draws visitors from around the Midwest. She is a local artist who owns Khnemu Studio on Fernwood Farm and is busy planning the opening of “Fernwood 1891” a new storefront in downtown Fennville located at 120 East Main Street, which will feature local art, crafts and food.

The 2013 Business of the Year Award was awarded to owners: George and Jean Waden, of Homebodies of Western Michigan.

George and Jean established Homebodies of Western Michigan in 1999. Providing in-home care, its services provide the experienced, non-medical care necessary to enable seniors to stay in their familiar surroundings. Homebodies of Western Michigan serves Allegan, Ottawa and Van Buren Counties. They are also the recipient of South Haven Area Chamber of Commerce 2009 Award of Excellence for an Existing Business.

Board President, Paul Hix, gave a brief synopsis of the Chamber achievements which are: The Community Guide which has been published and distributed for 4 consecutive years.   The Tuesdays in the Park summer concerts series attracts on average approximately 200-400 locals and visitors to the area. 400 children ages toddler through eleven years old participate in the Annual Easter Egg Hunt. Over the past 7 years, $6,000 in scholarship funds have been distributed to local Fennville graduating seniors going on to college for a business degree. Lastly, the Chamber is a Gold Level sponsor of the Fennville Goose Festival, and also sponsors the annual Christmas Festival.

Following the presentation of the Business and Citizen Award an exquisite five course meal, was provided by five local restaurants: Crane’s Pie Pantry Restaurant, Hop’N, Salt of the Earth, Steven’s Hotel, and What Not Inn.

For a gallery of photos, click here.


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