The Sidney Sun-Telegraph - Serving proudly since 1873 as the beautiful Nebraska Panhandle's first newspaper

By Forrest Hershberger
Sidney Sun-Telegraph 

Chamber Recognizes Businesses, Supporters


January 29, 2020

Forrest Hershberger

More than 250 people attended the annual Cheyenne County Chamber of Commerce Awards Banquet Friday. The banquet was held at the Sidney Elks Lodge.

In a year where people question if we are still on track, where commentators say "Sidney is dead," it is necessary to recognize those who are dedicated to swim against the tide, do what they can to support the economy and the community.

On Friday, Jan. 24, the Cheyenne County Chamber of Commerce held its annual awards banquet, recognizing businesses, entrepreneurs and every day residents who support Cheyenne County.

"Each year, the Cheyenne County Chamber honors businesses and individuals that have had an outstanding impact on our community during this annual awards banquet," said Hunter Arterburn.

Arterburn, of KSID Radio, was the emcee for the night. The banquet was held at the Sidney Elks Lodge with PT Catering providing the dinner. The Sidney High School Dance Team served the dinner. The theme of the night was casino night in the flavor of the Old West. Upon entering the banquet, participants were encouraged to take part in the Silent Auction with a variety of local foods and products, and tickets to the Colorado Rockies and Denver Broncos.

The first recognition went to Take Back Health & Fitness as the "New Business of the Year." Take Back Health & Fitness opened on 10th Street in August of 2019.

"I just want to say thank you to my family, my friends and of course my clients," said owner Amanda Bauer. "If it weren't for the Chamber, and the community, I wouldn't be here."

The banquet also recognized the Outstanding Customer ServiceAward recipient. This award was presented to Pam Nelson who works at Gehrig-Stitt Chapel and Cremation.

"Pam Nelson goes above and beyond to assist customers at Gehrig-Stitt Chapel & Cremation, offering them quality care during very difficult times," Arterburn said in presenting the award. "Even when going through challenging times of her own, she shows patience, kindness and understanding to both customers and staff with immense sincerity."

The Citizen of the Year Award was presented to Judy Schaefer. Schaefer organizes the Congregate Meals "with a side of quality care" at the Cheyenne County Community Center.

"We the seniors at Congregate Meals and home delivery want to nominate Judy Schaefer for outstanding customer service. We all feel welcome and she treats us like royalty. Judy speaks to each one of us personally, caters to our every need, checks on us if we are absent, entertains us, and has parties at her own expense," Arterburn said, quoting a letter from the seniors at Congregate Meals.

The 2019 year was one when the opening of new business and industry took center stage. The Economic Development Project of the Year went to UST GLOBAL. The company opened a new location downtown at the corner of Illinois and 13th Streets and quickly moved from a staff of only a few to more than 100.

Karuna Counseling was presented with the Business Revitalization Award. The award is given to businesses that have made considerable improvements or renovations to their business. Nichole Peralta, owner of Karuna Counseling, started as a entrepreneurship project at the Western Nebraska Community College (Sidney) Innovation and Entrepreneurship Center. She brought on a partner, then in 2019 purchased a home on east Illinois Street, converting it to Karuna Counseling.

The Community Impact Award goes to an organization or development that is instrumental in assisting business and industry in assisting business and industry development. The award was presented to VITALIX, a livestock food supplement producer that opened in the industrial park.

The E.K. Yanney Award was presented to Michelle and Shad Benish for opening Homestead Market in Dalton. Michelle Benish said she could not see the Dalton community having a store, and took a chance on making it work.

Larry Nelson is the recipient of the Community Leader Award. Nelson served more than 35 years in the U.S. Army in active duty and reserves, rising to the rank of colonel. Since retirement, he has served as Senior Vice Commander of VFW Post No. 610, Commander of the DAV, and is a member of the American Legion Post 17. H is a volunteer interviewer for the Veterans History Project, interviewing more than 250 service men and women and has published more than 150 articles highlighting their service. He is also chairman of the Cheyenne County Veterans Service, volunteers to transport Disable Veterans to the Cheyenne VA Medical Center, oversees the Dr. Herb and Dorothy Nelson Scholarship Fund and has served on the Sidney Educational Foundation Board for 15 years.

He is also responsible for many of the displays of military uniforms and vehicles in the Sidney community.

The Edna Anderson Award went to Kay Hicks.

"Anyone who knows the award recipient knows how generous this person is with offering compassion, support and a willingness to help anyone who may need it, whether simply to listen and care or to provide material assistance," Jordan Ball, a previous Edna Anderson Award winner, said in his presentation.

Board member Brooke DeNovellis, presented the Ambassador of the Year award to Michaela Nelson. She said Nelson has attended nearly every business opening and ribbon cutting.

"It has been a pleasure seeing what businesses are doing," Nelson said.

Hal Enevoldsen presented the Friend of Tourism Award to the Sidney Shooting Park.

"This is our way of trying to better the community, bring people back," said SSP Board President Brad Zalesky.

Enevoldsen said the mission of the Sidney Shooting Park fits tourism, attracting more people to visit Cheyenne County.

The 2019 Heroes Among Us Award went to a group of people. The award was presented to the Wheatbelt linemen and their dedication to returning power after the storm during Thanksgiving 2019.

See page 8B for photos.


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