Chamber hosts annual banquet


FAIRBORN — Fairborn’s finest was honored April 19 during the Fairborn Area Chamber of Commerce Annual Banquet awards ceremony.

As attendees finished dinner, the incoming chamber president, Brian Lampton, was sworn in by outgoing president Jayme Bettinger of Wright-Patt Credit Union, who exchanged her red jacket for a green one. New members of the chamber board of directors were also sworn-in by Fairborn Mayor Paul Keller. Eric Murray, an outgoing board member, was honored for his 18 years of service.

Assistant City Manager Pete Bales, alongside Swartz Jewelry owner Pete Bates, presented the Fairborn Rotary Club Rotarian of the Year award to Dottie Meade, who has served as an educator across the Miami Valley and beyond.

Greene County Career Center Superintendent David Deskins then presented the GCCC Award to GCCC Board President Mike Uecker, who is a Fairborn native and formerly served on the Fairborn City Schools Board of Education.

Clint Allen, president, presented the Fairborn Lions Club Lion of the Year award to Mike Gary Siembab. Fairborn City Manager Rob Anderson presented the City of Fairborn Award to Annetta Williams, who has served the city for 18 years.

Col. David Anzaldua presented the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base Award to Tech. Sgt. James Stembridge. However, Stembridge was unable to attend the event. Lt. Alex Gaboric accepted the award on his behalf.

The Wright State University Award was presented by Paul Newman Sr. Mike and Darla Foy received the award. Darla Foy was also the recipient of the Ambassador Club Award. The couple’s business — Foy’s Variety and Halloween Stores — was also honored during the event with the John Dalton Legacy Award as it is the oldest business in Fairborn. The stores opened in 1912 and are celebrating their 90th anniversary. Fairborn Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Matt Owen highlighted during the event that the Foy’s son, who is currently 22 years old, will take over the business in the future which will make it a fourth-generation family business.

Handyman Ace Hardware is celebrating 80 years of business this year and was also honored with the John Dalton Business Legacy Award.

The President’s Award was presented by Bettinger, who gave the award to Newman Sr.

“There’s a song that goes ‘I left my heart in San Francisco’ — well, I left my heart in Fairborn,” he said.

The biggest award of the evening — the Jack Huelsman Civic Award — was presented by Mike Foy and was given to Carolyn Hollon, owner of Hollon Flowers in Fairborn. Hollon is involved in a number of committees and activities in the community but was surprised to receive the award. When she nervously took the podium, she admitted that she was surprised and initially thought the award was going to another individual but was thankful to be honored.

By Whitney Vickers

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Contact Whitney Vickers at 937-502-4532.

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