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67th Annual Awards Banquet honors outstanding community leaders

VIA The Morning Sun -

Diane and Richard Fleming were announced as 2023’s Outstanding Citizens of the Year, a special tributeas there have only been four other couples recognized in the 67-year history.

The Flemings were honored on Saturday, March 2nd at the 67th Annual Awards Banquet at the Comfort Inn Conference Center. Family and friends offered an emotional applause after the surprise

The Flemings were honored on Saturday, March 2nd at the 67th Annual Awards Banquet at the Comfort Inn Conference Center. Family and friends offered an emotional applause after the surprise announcement was made.

First held in 1957, the Annual Awards Banquet, hosted by the Mt. Pleasant Area Chamber of Commerce, recognizes the most outstanding community leaders in Mt. Pleasant. The event honors individuals who have selflessly given their time, talents, and resources to better our community.

One remarkable citizen is honored with the Outstanding Citizen of the Year Award. Recipients of this award have made significant contributions in time and effort to our community, providing service above standard job-related duty, promoting Mt. Pleasant to individuals outside the area, and are highly involved in and have established civic activities throughout the community.

Diane and Richard’s history of service and dedication to their community is nothing short of spectacular. They each are involved in numerous service clubs and organizations across the area and have held multiple leadership roles throughout the years. Their service history includes:

  • For over 30 years, Richard has been an active member of the Mt. Pleasant Rotary Club.

  • During the Pandemic, Richard and Diane were instrumental in organizing the Isabella Community Soup Kitchen’s drive-through food pick-up. They both actively served the ICSK for many years.

  • Diane spends countless hours volunteering at the Commission on Aging, assisting with special projects, meal packaging, and meal delivery.

  • Richard and Diane have been long-time volunteers with Community Cancer Services of Isabella County.

  • Diane has been a Mt. Pleasant Lions Club member for over 30 years and was the first female member.

  • A former mathematics professor, Richard is a professor emeritus, created the Ph.D. in Mathematics at CMU and has published two historical fiction novels.

The Mt. Pleasant Area Chamber of Commerce also recognizes some of the community’s most deservingvolunteers with their Eagle Award, also presented at the Annual Awards Banquet. This prestigious award, established in 1990, honors the extraordinary volunteer efforts of one outstanding individual at several of the Mt. Pleasant area’s service clubs and organizations.

Nominated by the head of their organization, each recipient has “soared” above and beyond, giving of themselves to support their organization and the community.

Following a special surprise tribute to Shirley M. Decker, who passed away just earlier this year, the Mt. Pleasant Area Chamber of Commerce announced the renaming of the Eagle Awards to the

Shirley M. Decker Eagle Awards. Shirley was an instrumental part of the community and the Chamber for many years. One of her favorite things was helping to hand out the Eagle Awards to winners at the Annual Awards Banquet and the Mt. Pleasant Area Chamber of Commerce hopes that Shirley’s legacy will live on through this award.

The following is a list of the 2023 Shirley M. Decker Eagle Award recipients and the organizations theyserve:

  • Art Reach of Mid Michigan – Sara Dosenberry Seybert

  • Christmas Outreach of Isabella County — Stephanie Ohms

  • Community Compassion Network (CCN) – Mary Ohms

  • Community Cancer Services of Isabella County – Laurie Peters

  • Chippewa River District Library (Friends of the Veteran’s Memorial Library) – Susan Griffith

  • Habitat for Humanity of Isabella County – Karen Zoppetti (Awarded Posthumously)

  • Life Choices of Central Michigan – John Hoyle

  • McLaren Central Michigan Volunteer Services – Amy Madsen

  • Mt. Pleasant Area Community Foundation – Bob & Nancy Wheeler

  • Mt. Pleasant Discovery Museum – Angie White

  • Mt. Pleasant Jaycees – Katie Roethlisberger

  • Mount Pleasant Michigan Kiwanis Club – Mike Crapo

  • Mt Pleasant Michigan Lions Club – John S. Monahan

  • Mt. Pleasant Rotary Club – Peggy Pickler

  • Optimist Club of Mt. Pleasant – Kim Onstott

  • The Care Store – Jeremy Sheets

  • William and Janet Strickler Nonprofit Center – Lisa Yanick Litwiller

  • Zonta Club of Mount Pleasant – Amy Fisher

In partnership with Central Michigan University Research Corporation (CMURC), the Mt. Pleasant Area Chamber of Commerce recognized Enterprise Tax Solutions, Inc. with the Innovation Award. This awardhighlights a company that seeks to embrace the entrepreneurial spirit and create profound and positiveimpacts on its community.

In addition, the Mt. Pleasant Area Chamber of Commerce in partnership with Middle Michigan Development Corporation (MMDC), recognized Konwinski Construction with the Economic Impact Award. Konwinski Construction was recognized for continuously striving to positively impact the quality of life in Isabella County.

The Mt. Pleasant Area Chamber of Commerce also recognized businesses that have volunteered their time and resources to benefit the community, and that have demonstrated significant support of the Mt. Pleasant Chamber initiative through the Large and Small Business Awards. The 2023 Large Business Award was presented to Isabella Community Credit Union, and the Small Business Award was presented to Sleepy Dog Books. These businesses exemplify what these awards represent- business innovation, quality service, development of staff, volunteering, and giving back to the community.

Krapohl Ford & Lincoln was recognized as a Legacy Award winner because this business has been an active Chamber Member for 73 years. They pride themselves on treating customers and staff like family and say that a successful business should be involved in making Mt. Pleasant and Isabella County a better place to live.

The 2023 Ambassador of the Year Award was presented to Sherri Rosecrans. Sherri has helped the Chamber welcome new members, celebrate ribbon cuttings, and has volunteered at numerous events. She has loved forging relationships with other business professionals and mentoring new chamber members.

The Charles E. Anthony Award went to Board member, Paula Arndt, for being an outstanding Chamber Board Member. The Award was created to acknowledge one of the Chamber’s most dedicated volunteers, Charles Anthony, and is given to a Chamber Board Member whose volunteerism reflects similar dedication.

The Outgoing Board Chair from 2023 is Amanda Schafer. Amanda has been on the Board of Directors since 2017. Her tenure has been marked by her leadership, commitment, and contributions to the Chamber’s growth and success.

Finally, the Rising Star Community Impact Award was presented to Brian Locke, of MyMichigan Health. Brian’s community service impacts can be seen not only through his work but also through his time as the Chair of the Board of Directors at Habitat for Humanity of Isabella County, Board member of Beal City School Board, and volunteering through Beal City Athletics and his church.


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