This year has been difficult for everyone but took an even bigger toll on our local small businesses and community organizations. We’d like to thank our community for supporting the Chamber and our local businesses during these trying times.

Though we weren’t able to celebrate our community leaders and businesses as usual with our Annual Awards Event, winners were announced via social media and presented with their award individually.

Thank you to our sponsors, all those who donated gift baskets/prizes, and thank you to those who submitted nominations for each category.

Congratulations to the following winners:

• Business of the Year: The Post Sports Bar & Grill

• Community Betterment Award: Stephanie King

• Entrepreneur of the Year: Alejandra Kottke / Cornerstone Sun Spa Boutique

• Volunteer of the Year: Mary Gross

• Public Servant of the Year: Todd Stockburger

• One to Watch: Erica Kielty and Cameron Metz

• 4 Under 40: Cameron Metz, Jimmy Smith, Julie Gasior, and Stephanie King

With ongoing restrictions prohibiting in-person events, we tried something different. We put on a Stepping into Fall event encouraging the community to support our local businesses by ordering take out, shopping local, setting up appointments, checking out local community groups, etc. Game pieces were available and turned in at designated member businesses and available on the Chamber’s website. The winning entries were: Cameron Metz & Mike Reinders

A Virtual Halloween Contest took the place of our popular Trunk or Treat event. There were three categories to allow “kids” of all ages to participate. There was a Costume Contest for ages 0-5, 6-10, and 11-15 years, a Pumpkin Carving Contest, and Best Decorated Business. Angel Treasures II walked away with the Best Decorated Business award.

Our Holiday Passport Event kicked off during Small Business Saturday, Nov. 28, and ran through Dec. 19. Game pieces were available at all participating businesses and on the chamber’s website. Entries were submitted to the Chamber via email or Facebook.

Congratulations to Debora Williams on winning the awesome prize basket full of goodies donated by participating businesses.

We are looking forward to the new year and the possibility of things returning to normal so we can again host Business After Hours, ribbon cuttings, and other community events.

We hope you have a very happy and safe New Year!

Winnebago Area Chamber of Commerce Board Members 2021:

• Nichole Smith; President – Culver’s of Winnebago

• Denise Speracino; Vice President – Winnebago Community Historical Society

• Elizabeth Johnson-Lovett; Secretary – Winnebago School District 323

• Neil Potter; Treasurer – Citizen

• Julie Gasior – Winnebago School District 323

• Stephanie King – Citizen

• Del Francis; Board Member – First National Bank and Trust Company

• Kellie Symonds; Board Member – Village of Winnebago

• Kelly Maurer; Board Member – B3 Salon

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