Vale Chamber honors businesses and community members at banquet

VALE – About 100 people celebrated local businesses and shared a meal at the annual Vale Chamber of Commerce banquet Saturday, June 22.

“The goal here is to honor the folks that make the community what it is,” said Bill Buhrig, local agronomist and master of ceremonies at the banquet. “Nobody sets out to win awards, it’s just good people doing good things.”

Jessica Kulm, chamber president, agreed.

“It’s mostly about community,” Kulm said.

This year’s event saw some changes under the leadership of Kulm and vice president Alisha McBride. In the past, the banquet was held in February or March. To avoid competition with other annual events, the board moved this year’s celebration to June. Prior banquets were held at Vale High School; this year the board wanted a change and opted for the Vale Fire Hall.

Two gleaming red fire trucks served as the backdrop as seven awards honored local citizens and businesses.

The Agricultural Business of the Year award went to Dentinger’s Feed and Seed. Now in its fourth generation, the business has been in Vale since 1938.

Logan’s Market took home the Business of the Year award. The owners, Logan and Pattie Hamilton, had never visited Vale before deciding to settle there nearly 22 years ago.

The Elementary Educator of the Year award went to Kim Worley, whose passion for writing has inspired students for almost 20 years.

Drew Barnes was named High School Educator of the Year. Under his guidance, Vale High School won two Ford/AAA National Championships.

The Lifetime Educator award was shared by Ellen Camp and Patty Faw.

Camp retired last month after teaching in Vale since 1994.

Faw served as a teacher and librarian in the Vale school district for 29 years and was lauded for her infectious love of books.

Todd Hesse, chief of the Vale Rural Fire Protection District for the last 16 years, was named Public Servant of the Year.

The Volunteers of the Year Award went to Dennis and Bobbi Buttice, local business owners who are active on several boards and nonprofits

Reporter Yadira Lopez: [email protected] or 541-473-3377

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