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
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
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.