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Awards given at Ellsworth Chamber banquet

Awards were presented at a revamped member appreciation banquet held by the Ellsworth Chamber of Commerce Jan. 30. An estimated 50 people attended at The Ridgetop, between Ellsworth and Prescott.

Chamber Executive Sarah Ries explained officials wanted to recognize several members instead of just a few, as had occurred at past annual banquets, especially with all of the new businesses that have come to town recently.

“We wanted to give them the opportunity to tell what they did in the last year,” Ries said Wednesday.

Last year’s event featured an ambassador of the year award, most valuable volunteer award, plus business and community persons of the year awards, she said. This year, it was decided to recognize seven members, five of which had representatives who spoke briefly and two of which were unable to attend.

The five whom attendees heard from were: Traci Leffner of Sylvan Learning Center, telling about how the business came to Ellsworth; Yvonne Larson of Shopko Hometown, sharing how the store has been building a team and the excitement in being a part of Ellsworth to stay; Kim Beebe and Becky Beissel of Limelight Social Media; Paul Bauer of Ellsworth Cooperative Creamery, discussing recent creamery expansion and commerce in general; and Rick Kornmann and Susan Beck of the Ellsworth School District, previewing the upcoming levy and facilities referendum.

Quinn Motors and McDonald’s Courtesy Corporation weren’t present.

The ambassadors coordinated the banquet, Ries said. Appreciation was expressed to them, plus Amy Hildebrandt of The Ridgetop for hosting and catering the meal; Liz Smith, Firefly Designs, for designing the invitation; Greg Lackey, Shutterbug Photo Booths, for providing the photo booth; Ellsworth Cooperative Creamery, for providing the cheese trays; Chamber President Matt Anderson for emceeing the event; and the following, who donated prizes for the raffle: Associated Bank, Bank Mutual, BMO Harris Bank, Courtesy Corporation McDonald’s, Ellsworth Cooperative Creamery, Flat Pennies Ice Cream, Nilssen’s Foods, Sarah Ries, Shopko Hometown, Service Agency, Treasure Island Resort and Casino, and True Value Hardware.