California Area Chamber of Commerce Annual Dinner/Meeting Held

California First Baptist Church Pastor Greg Morrow, right, presents Owners Bud, middle, and Nancy Bolinger, Bolinger Marketing Group with the 2011 Business of the Year Award.

California First Baptist Church Pastor Greg Morrow, right, presents Owners Bud, middle, and Nancy Bolinger, Bolinger Marketing Group with the 2011 Business of the Year Award. Photo by John Inman.

The California Area Chamber of Commerce held its Annual Dinner meeting Jan. 28, at the California Nutrition Center. From 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. guests were entertained by Phil Lewis on piano while they were also invited to try appetizers, look and bid on silent auction items. At 6 p.m. outgoing Chamber President Shelly Hampton welcomed the attendants and introduced Dr. Peter M. Kurowski, pastor of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, who led the invocation before the meal. For dinner, the California Eagles Auxiliary #4027 catered a meal including ham, roast beef, scalloped potatoes, green beans, corn, rolls, salad and a plethora of desserts. The Eagles Auxiliary also provided the appetizers with Coca-Cola sponsoring soda.

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City of California Mayor Norris Gerhart presents City Attorney Ann Perry with the 2011 Citizen of the Year Award at the California Area Chamber of Commerce Annual Dinner held Saturday, Jan. 28, at the California Nutrition Center.

After the dinner attendees were given an opportunity to peruse the silent auction items and place their final bids. As the silent auction came to a close, Kent Embry, Embry & Pettigrew Auction Service, started the live auction with Larry Higgins, Kenny Kunze and Charlie Roll as bid takers. The auctions raised approximately $4,200. All of the proceeds from the auctions go to the Chamber Scholarship Fund.

After the auctions the Annual Meeting was held, the minutes from the 2011 meeting were approved along with the treasurer's report. Hampton gave the president's report along with Brad Baer who gave the 2011 Ozark Ham and Turkey Festival report before the 2012 budget was reviewed and approved.

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California Area Chamber of Commerce Board Officers elected at the 2011 Annual Dinner/Meeting; from left, are Norris Gerhart (president), Becky Lawson (vice president), Melanie McDonald (secretary) and Melissa Bonecutter (treasurer).

Next, 2012 Chamber Board Directors were approved including Baer, Tammy Bleich, Melissa Bonecutter, Dolores Burger, Paula Earls, Norris Gerhart, Shelly Hampton, Doris Hardy, A.J. Henry, Hope Hoellering, Brian Hufendiek, Becky Lawson, Chris Long, Dr. Todd McCluskey, Melanie McDonald, Robin Ratcliff, Charlie Roll, Roberta Rothstein, Dwight Sanders, Pam White and Marla Wright. Chamber Board officer nominees for 2012 were elected which included President Norris Gerhart, Vice President Lawson, Secretary McDonald and Treasurer Bonecutter.

After the elections, Mayor Gerhart, County Commissioner Kunze and MRED Executive Director Ken Parrett gave brief updates.

After the meeting was adjourned the 2011 Business and Citizens of the Year Award presentations concluded the evening.

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Members of the California Eagles Auxiliary #4027 dishing out appetizers they catered, from left, are Sallie Kiesling, Barb Dean and Carolyn Kiesling.

California First Baptist Church Pastor Greg Morrow gave a brief history and announced Bolinger Marketing Inc. was awarded Business of the Year for 2011 for its work in the area. Bud and Nancy Bolinger accepted the award.

City Attorney Ann Perry was awarded the Annual Citizen of the Year Award for 2011 for her many years of selfless service to California including writing many grants which helped with improvements to the community including the new tennis courts and first enterprise zone. Gerhart shared of the countless hours of service by Perry and presented her the award.

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