Having refrained for two years from holding the Celebration of Success Award Banquet due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Farmington Regional Chamber brought the popular event back with a whole new approach that appeared to be a hit with the 250 members and guests in attendance at the Centene Center on Thursday.
The banquet began with an introduction by Chamber Board of Directors Chair Larry Joseph, who greeted those in attendance and recognized Pastor Rocky Good of New Heights Church in Farmington, who gave the dinner prayer.
The meal was served by Bailey Jo’s BBQ in Ironton to each appreciative diner’s designated table as the sounds of conversation filled the room.
After the meal, the crowd moved into the auditorium, where they were entertained by a localized version of Family Feud that pitted the Chip Peterson family against the faux Chamberland “family.” Mark Toti emceed the game in which both teams were playing for their favorite charity. By the end of the lively and sometimes hilarious competition, the Chamberlain “family” were crowned the victors and will be making a $300 donation to their charity, the Help the Hungry Bake Sale.
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The evening ended with a video featuring all of the night’s winners receiving their awards. The only exception was at the end when Executive Director Candy Hente presented the Farmington Regional Chamber of Commerce Lifetime Achievement Award to long-time local businessman Dan Combs for his many years of service to the community and the chamber.
The recipient of this year’s Daily Journal/Farmington Press Citizen of the Year was Farmington High School business instructor Christy Pierce.
In presenting the award, Farmington Press Managing Editor Kevin Jenkins said, “This year’s Daily Journal/Farmington Press Citizen of the Year studied at the University of Kansas and Missouri Baptist University. She worked for the Missouri Course Access and Virtual School Program, which has as its mission to offer Missouri students equal access to a wide range of high-quality courses, flexibility in scheduling, and interactive online learning.
“Our Citizen of the Year then came to work at Farmington High School, where as business instructor, she oversees the school’s INCubatorEDU program that began at the school in the fall of 2021, and is the very first INCubatorEDU program in the state of Missouri. Three student teams present their pitch for a product to a board of directors made up of business leaders from the local community.
“This innovative program takes the student beyond a textbook and places them in a real-world experience that takes place over an entire school year. The curriculum is at such a high level that it is ranked as a dual-credit class and teaches the students concepts that are beyond what they’d receive in a masters-level class. After completion of the first year, the program was said to have succeeded beyond expectations. Now the program is in its second year, and it continues to change the lives of Farmington High School students. The Daily Journal/ Farmington Press is proud to present this year’s Citizen of the Year award to Christy Pierce.”
Other award recipients of the evening included: Rotary Service Above Self Award, Mark Toti; Kiwanis Youth Leadership Award, Anna Sikes; KREI/KTJJ 110% Award, Kelly Cummings; Agribusiness Award, David Miller of Miller Feed; KFMO/B104 Civic Entrepreneur, First State Community Bank; Froggy 96-Dockens Media Extraordinary Educator, Gae Reid; and the Tradition & Progress Award, Play It Forward Committee.
At the conclusion of the evening, Deena Ward, chamber director of events, said, “Oh, what a night! Congratulations to all the award winners at tonight’s Celebration of Success Award Banquet! And to the Chamberlain ‘family’ for their victory over the Peterson family in Family Feud! There are so many people who worked to make this a successful event, and we thank them all very much.”
Kevin R. Jenkins is the managing editor of the Farmington Press and can be reached at 573-783-9667 or firstname.lastname@example.org