Good food, good times and good work celebrated at annual Chamber dinner


Olivia Kliewer, a Hillsboro High School student, sings her winning rendition of ?Somewhere Over the Rainbow? during the second annual talent contest.


Program emcee Fig Newton (Randy Smith) does his schtick.


Free Press publisher Joel Klaassen accepts the Chamber?s ?Member of the Year Award? from outgoing president David Baker (left).

More than 175 people attended the Hillsboro Chamber of Commerce annual meeting Monday at the Hillsboro Menno?nite Brethren Church.

A highlight was the Chamber Member of the Year selected from three candidates: Hillsboro Industries, Hillsboro Free Press and Brenda?s Bloomers & Gifts.

David Baker, outgoing Chamber president, announced the Hillsboro Free Press as this year?s recipient. The newspaper was nominated for educating the public regarding the proposed county jail project on the November ballot.

Accepting the award was Joel Klaassen, publisher.

?It?s nice to receive an award for just doing your job,? Klaassen said, thanking the Chamber for the honor.

In addition to naming the member of the year, the talent show was back by popular demand for its second year.

Emcees included Fig Newton and Marlene Quick, also known as Randy Smith and Marlene Fast, both Chamber directors.

The winner of the talent show was Olivia Kliewer, who sang ?Somewhere Over the Rainbow.?

Others competing in the talent show were the Silver Cords (Helen Fenstermacher, Fern Hiebert, Darlene Franz and LeOra Grunau); Randy Claassen, Sonja Maddox and Roger Kohls, Alysha Claassen, Clint Seibel & The Professors (Clint Seibel, Lawrence Ressler, Bruce Heyen and Norm Hope).

A silent auction was offered as a fundraiser with more than 40 items ranging from a $100 gift certificate to a bag full of tools and a jacuzzi suite available for bid.

Baker also passed the gavel to incoming president Nicole Suderman, who recognized retiring board members Krista Heinrichs and Eric Driggers.

She also thanked Baker for his service as president and welcomed president-elect Brenda McGinness and a new member, Good Health Chiropractic.

The dinner was catered by Panhandler?s Catering, Hills?boro.

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