The Desloge Chamber of Commerce held its annual chamber awards dinner Thursday evening at the Lincoln Street Event Center in Desloge. Emceed by Mineral Area College President Dr. Joe Gilgour many people came out in support of those winning awards.
This year, the Daily Journal presented its annual Citizen of the Year Award to fifth generation funeral home owner Brian Boyer.
Daily Journal Sales Manager Michelle Menley introduced Brian saying it is a privilege each year for the Daily Journal to get to choose the Citizen of the Year recipient as the Journal looks for an individual who best represents the qualities that people admire among friends, neighbors, and associates.
The award is not given for outstanding single efforts, for the positions held in, both public or private, nor is it given so much for being a member and paying dues, or financial contributions according to Menley, but rather the award is presented to the ones who will say they will help when someone asks what needs to be done. It is presented to those who say Desloge is their home, and will do whatever they can do to help make it a better place.
“Tonight we have a son, who given his generously to the community, his willingness to serve, and his successful business acumen, must have had great advice, and great example from the four generations that preceded him,” said Menley.
Brian is a graduate of North County High School who started washing cars in the family business at a young age. He joined the family business as the “Son” part of C.Z. Boyer & Son Funeral Homes after finishing mortuary school; and is now the Chief Operating Officer and Vice President of C.Z. Boyer & Son Funeral Homes and Hillview Memorial Gardens and Mausoleum where he is charged with the daily operations of both. He is also the co-owner of Hillview Memorial Crematory and Good Earth Monuments, and has recently acquired a pet cremation company.
Brian is also active in the community. He has been involved in several local organizations and served on a variety of committees according to Menley. He has been a board member and past president of the Missouri Funeral Trust, a Civilian Member of the St. Francois County BackStoppers, and is an expert on community parades.
“He is by all accounts a dedicated husband and father, and a pillar of the Parkland community. When you drive past the funeral home in Desloge on top of the hill, or by any of their locations in Bonne Terre, Leadwood, Park Hills, or Farmington, you can rest assured the legacy of Brian’s dedication to community lives on, and we’re grateful for it,” Menley said.
A total of nine other awards were presented Thursday evening.
The KREI/KTJJ 110% Service Award was presented to David Hughes. Award presenter Mark Toti said Huges has been Branch Manager for the Desloge, Park Hills and Bonne Terre New Era Banks for a number of years, has been a secretary of the Lions Club for years, and was instrumental in getting the all-inclusive playground installed. Toti said Hughes has also been a key player in the annual DARE golf tournament. Hughes has served on a number of chamber boards and helped promote the student banners that hang on the light poles.
Chuck Odle presented the KFMO/B104 Super Service award to Becky Plancarte. Plancarte has been with Walmart since 1996, where she has spent 27 years learning, growing, and achieving numerous promotions and relocations before coming to the Desloge Walmart as store manage in 2022. Odle said Plancarte and her company has always and continues to support the communities through donations, community grants, helping local charities, local schools, food pantries, VFW halls, and so many more, as well as supporting a local chamber.
The St. Francois County Rotary Service Above Self Award was presented by Heather Garner,to Misty Boyer, Head Librarian for the Desloge City Library. Misty was raised in Desloge and followed in her father’s footsteps to become a dedicated servant of the city. Throughout the year she hosts multiple events through the public library to bring the community together, including The Back to School Bash, Trunk-or-Treat, the Christmas Parade, and Christmas in the Park. Gardner said Misty takes pride in her job, and makes such personal connections with the library patrons she treats them like family.
Mayor David Shaw presented the City of Desloge Public Service Award to Desloge Police Chief James “Jebo” Bullock. Bullock has served the Desloge Police Department for 42 years, and has spent 30 of those years as the chief. He is a member of the North County Board of Education, on the board of the St. Francois County 911 district, and is a mentor of Law Enforcement Academy students.
Desloge Chamber Board of Directors President Justin Wilkinson introduced the first of five awards for the Desloge Chamber, the Future Business Leader Award to North County Student Autumn Karsch. Wilkinson said he had the pleasure of meeting Karsch a few months prior due to her participation in Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA). Just from meeting her, Wilkinson said he could tell she had the spirit of an entrepreneur.
Dustin Kopp presented the second chamber award to Desloge Police Sergeant Dustin Cash for his action on March 17, 2022, which saved Corporal Garrett Worley’s life by applying a tourniquet. Kopp recounted a doctor saying that Cash’s quick actions saved Worley’s life, as another 90 seconds would have been all it took for Worley to have succumbed to his injuries. Cash received the Hero of the Year Award for his actions that night, as well as the actions throughout his career with the Desloge Police Department.
Chamber Vice President Mandi Herzog presented the Living Legend Award to Charlie Boyer, as well as C.Z. Boyer & Son Funeral Home for the dedication to Desloge. Herzog said Charlie graduated from Desloge High School in 1966 and served in the United States Air Force before being honorably discharged. He then attended the Dallas Institute of Mortuary Science, and joined the family business with his father Dallas and brother Teddy. Now retired, Charlie’s son Brian continues the family business.
Wilkinson also presented the Above and Beyond Service Award to the Desloge Street Department, with Public Work’s Director Jason Harris accepting the award for the team. Wilkinson said the department is quick to respond and are the people working when conditions are bad such as late at night, in the snow and rain, making sure the roads are passable and safe. Wilkinson explained Harris does a number of things for the chamber including assisting with Labor Day.
Kopp presented the Incomparable Service Award to Kim Leftridge. While working full-time at Walmart Leftridge raised a family, finished beauty school, and started working at a local beauty shop. A year, later she bought West Main Hair Works and built it up from a two-station salon to a seven-station salon. She also served on the North County School Board, but Leftridge is perhaps best known for owning Bow Tie Catering and serving the Parkland for more than 20 years.
The last award presented was also presented by Kopp, the Desloge Chamber of Commerce Award for Unmatched Dedication went to Executive Director Cheri Henderson. Henderson taught technology at North County for 31 years, sponsored student council, coached basketball and volleyball, and more. In 2020 Henderson went to work for the chamber because as a lifelong resident she was always determined to see the chamber grow, and has been willing to do whatever is necessary to see the businesses in Desloge grow and thrive.
Danielle Thurman is a reporter for the Daily Journal and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or 573-518-3616.