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Chamber recognizes efforts and dedication of generous people PDF Print E-mail
Written by Holyoke Enterprise   

The talents and efforts of outstanding local people and organizations was recognized Monday night, Feb. 6 when Holyoke Chamber of Commerce held its 19th annual gala.

The spotlight was on the recognition of Outstanding Business, Employee, Youth and Citizens that were nominated by community members.

Winners included Peerless Theatre/GPRC, business; Bob Brandt, employee; Amy Krogmeier and Jordan Zeiler, youth; and Linda Jelden, citizen.

Pictured with their awards Monday night, Feb. 6 at the annual Chamber of Commerce Gala are, from left, front row, Nancy Berges and Dixie Fagerlin, STARs of the Year; Linda Jelden, Citizen of the Year; and Jordan Zeiler, Youth of the Year; and back row, Bob Brandt, Employee of the Year; John Ortner, accepting the Business of the Year on behalf of the Peerless Theatre and GPRC; and Amy Krogmeier, Youth of the Year.  —Enterprise photo

Additionally, Nancy Berges and Dixie Fagerlin were named Stars of the Year, as voted by the Chamber board, for their dedication to the Chamber and community.

The awards were graciously received by truly overwhelmed recipients.

HHS Select Choir added to the evening with several songs after dinner prior to the awards presentation.

Bids were placed on a variety of silent auction items which were donated for the occasion. Door prizes were also given to enhance the fun.

Jerry Brandt gave the invocation and Jared Anderson of Outback Cooking and Catering provided the meal. Holyoke FFA members helped serve the meal.


Peerless Theatre
Business of the Year

“The Peerless is a beautiful and clean facility,” praised the nominator. “You can walk into this business at any time of the day and find it attractive and appealing to anyone who comes. The friendliness of all the employees is another aspect of this business that sets it above the standard,” a nominator stated.

In the numerous nomination letters, the Peerless was cited for having the capability of offering many activities. Dinners, DVD parties and meetings are just a few things the space is available for—at very reasonable prices. In addition, it caters to the youth with the pool table, karate, dance room, basketball court and of course movies. The local FCA group also utilizes the center.

“It is a good safe place for the kids in the community to go hang out,” a nominator praised.


Employee of the Year
Bob Brandt

“Bob is very progressive in his thinking with bringing the theatre forward into this technological age. He also has been able to gain a great deal of community support through his fundraising efforts to make the technology possible. This is what keeps our community growing,” a nomination letter said.

Brandt was cited for his dedication and determination in offering a wide variety of movies as well as introducing Fathom Events. The unique events have given the community the opportunity to come together to enjoy a new kind of entertainment. He was also a key factor behind the installation of the digital projection and 3D equipment—not to mention the tremendous dedication to fund raise for the massive project.


Board members and staff of Peerless Theatre and GPRC are pictured with the Business of the Year Award, from left, front row, Diana Cotten, Sherry Simms and Penny Dockins; and back row, Michelle Lundgren, Bob Brandt, Kellie Race, Tim Johnson, John Ortner and Joe Crowder.  —Enterprise photo

Amy Krogmeier
Youth of the Year

“Miss Krogmeier’s character is a true attribute to her as an individual, a family member, a classmate and a community church member. Her character exemplifies what every parent hopes for within their own child, and her character makes a teacher look forward to teaching students each day,” her nomination letter stated.

Krogmeier’s service to friends, classmates and complete strangers is another reason her nominator felt she was worthy of the award.

Krogmeier’s involvement in the community and school was cited, including community and church service projects, mission service, homeless shelters, packaging food for starving children, softball team manager and swimming with the Sterling swim team.

“She talks of her plans with much confidence and looks forward to the challenges that wait her. With Miss Krogmeier being an excellent student, she will excel at the next level with her strong character and the ability to serve others,” her nominator stated in a letter.


Jordan Zeiler
Youth of the Year

“Jordan’s leadership skills stretch in everything she does throughout her day,” her nominator said. Zeiler keeps busy with FCCLA as well as working several jobs throughout each school year.

“While it is difficult working so much during the school year with such a busy course load, Jordan enjoys working and is always picking up extra hours and helping her co-workers as well.”

Her nomination letter stated Zeiler is extremely dedicated to her education and has earned 43 college credits prior to graduating from high school. One of her bigger accomplishments is her work on a year-long medical preparatory class which earned her 17 college credits. The extensive class led her to give up a true passion of swimming so she could travel 40 minutes round trip to complete clinicals.

In addition to her education, Zeiler was cited for her dedication to the school’s Penny Harvest project. Zeiler, along with two other students, were behind the project which surpassed its $2,000 goal by nearly $1,000. As a way to benefit the community, the team decided to donate funds to the playground project at Homesteaders Park.


Members of the Holyoke High School Select Choir provided the entertainment for Monday night’s Chamber of Commerce annual gala.  —Enterprise photo

Linda Jelden
Citizen of the Year

“Mrs. Jelden has given of herself countless hours of her time to the community as a volunteer in many community activities,” her nomination letter stated.

She currently serves on the Re-1J school board, volunteer for the library, MOPs (Mothers of Preschoolers), summer swim team, Dragon’s Wagon Preschool, 4-H, Baby Bear Hugs advisory committee and a dedicated member of First Christian Church.

“In addition to the mentioned activities, she and her husband Dr. Jelden are very giving of their finances and donate to many of the community projects,” the nomination letter stated.

“She continually gives of herself to make our community a better place. I believe the day the Jeldens moved to town, Linda was not looking at what Holyoke could offer her, but what she could do for Holyoke,” her nominator cited.

Chamber Board member Jerry Brandt presented Jelden with her award. Brandt began the presentation with a reading of Jelden’s daughters’ citizenship essay that was printed in the Feb. 2 issue of the Enterprise. “The apple obviously doesn’t fall far from the tree,” Brandt said noting how Jelden portrays a model citizen.


Dixie Fagerlin and Nancy Berges
STARs of the Year

“Over the years, these two have given much time to the Chamber sponsored community events and projects. Not to single each out individually, you would have found them attending the Gala, submitting nominations and emceeing the event.

“At Community Night, they have assisted at the welcome table and helped with the meal. Both have served many of the Spotlight Your Business promotions, gave a helping hand at the fair barbecue and assisted with the Country Christmas Parade of Lights.

“Both are regular attendees at the monthly Chamber meetings and have made suggestions and assisted in obtaining informative speakers for the meetings. Over the years you would have found one or both of them serving on the Chamber Board and holding various offices.”



Holyoke Enterprise February 9, 2012