Chamber honors community service members with banquet
Four of Baldwin City's finest were honored for their efforts at the annual Baldwin City Chamber of Commerce Awards Dinner Friday night at the Lodge.
Danny and Becky McMillen were the Community Service Award winners and Riley and Sara Winkler were named Business Persons of the Year. Both couples have been active in the community and the chamber.
The McMillens are long-time Baldwin area residents and have been involved with a host of activities. Among them was the chamber's Yard of the Week program and numerous activities with the Baldwin City Public Library.
Becky was the first president of the Friends of the Baldwin City Library and continues to be involved in a host of library activities, including the city-wide garage sale and summer reading program, just to name a few. She was also instrumental in securing funds to help build the library. When their children were growing up, Becky served as a room mother, president of the PTO, Cub Scout leader and Sunday school teacher.
Both the McMillens have been heavily involved in the Maple Leaf Festival. Danny was the treasurer for the MLF committee for four years and is also well known for his appearance as Elmo the Clown in the parade for 24 years. He has also been on the Baldwin City Planning Commission for seven years and has been a volunteer at the chamber office for several years. He was also heavily involved with the Baldwin Boy Scout troop while their children were growing up.
The McMillens' list of activities is a long one and chamber vice president Diane Niehoff, who made the award presentation, made note of that.
"I think you will agree with me that Danny and Becky have served their community well and are long overdue this award for service to their community," said Niehoff.
The Winklers opened their business, Tires & More, on U.S. Highway 56 in 2002. They've jumped right into the Baldwin business community.
"Tires & More is an idea that Riley has had for a long time," said Connie Deel, Baker representative to the chamber, who made the presentation. "After much study and investigation, they decided Baldwin City would be the perfect place. They opened the store in July 2002 with themselves and one full-time employee. They have added to their staff with part-time employees, including several high school and Baker University students. The business plan pointed to good things happening in Baldwin City. The Winklers are proud to be a part of that success.
"Sara and Riley attended their first meeting and joined the chamber before the business was open and have been active and supportive ever since," Deel said. "In addition to frequently attending our general meetings, Sara jumped in to help re-introduce the Best of Baldwin this year and it was a solid success."
Other speakers at the dinner included Bill Harmon, chamber president and Mayor Ken Hayes, who introduced attendees to the new business park project planned for Baldwin City. Baker University President Dan Lambert also spoke.
The members of the Chamber Promotion Committee were also given awards thanking them for their service to the chamber and being members of the Promotion Committee in 2003. These were given to Mid-America Bank, Jerry Donnelly, Baker University, Baldwin State Bank, the City of Baldwin City, Baldwin Realty Association, Inc. and Sprint.