NORTH WEBSTER — Surprises abounded at the North Webster-Tippecanoe Township Chamber of Commerce Awards Dinner. It was held Monday evening, March 9, at The Owl’s Nest.
Person of the Year Kay Dabler was overcome with emotion when she realized she had won the honor. Large Business of the Year went to ACE Pest Control while Small Business of the Year was Pletcher Insurance. Past President Jim Smith received a plaque for his years of service to the organization.
President Mindy Scaggs, RE/MAX Lakes, was master of ceremonies assisted by Vice President Emily Shipley, Todd Realty. In presenting the Person of the Year Award to Dabler, Scaggs noted, “There were five nominees for the award, a record. This person was nominated by two people who had previously won the award themselves.”
Dabler did not realize she had won the award while Scaggs was summarizing her accomplishments until decorating the large Christmas tree with a monthly theme at the Senior Primelife Enrichment Center was mentioned. The look on Dabler’s face was priceless.
Living at Webster Lake since 1991, some of her community involvement includes being the senior center secretary, serving as an active member of the Friends of the North Webster Community Public Library and holding offices in the group. She is currently vice president. She also volunteers weekly to take old discarded books from the library to the Warsaw or Elkhart Goodwill Store. Accepting the award she commented with tears in her eyes, “Whatever I do, is out of love.”
Pletcher Insurance located in downtown North Webster has been giving back to the community since it opened an office there in 2000. It was founded in Elkhart in 1981. “Dave Pletcher is always very giving, not only financially, but of his and his employees time to help the chamber,” Scaggs commented. Accepting the award was Kim Sailiant.
ACE Pest Control is a notable presence in North Webster with its fleet of trucks beside its headquarters on SR 13. Owner Greg Long grew up in the business founded by his grandfather. Both his sons work in the business. It was explained, “Not only is the company state of the art when it comes to pest control but it has a heart for the community it serves.” Elizabeth Long and her son William Long, accepted the award. The three winners were presented with engraved glass plaques.
Smith came on the chamber board as a representative of Loose Moose Motorsports. He is a Kosciusko County deputy sheriff. Scaggs said, “He is a true leader and we want to show our appreciation for his years of leading the chamber with a token of appreciation.” He received an engraved beer mug.
Scaggs presented a program on the direction the chamber is heading calling for more revitalization of North Webster. The organization is working with Kosciusko County Redevelopment to secure a Main Street designation to apply for grants.
She and Shipley made a 90 second video and entered North Webster in the HGTV “Hometown Takeover” contest and are awaiting word of the outcome. Martha Stoelting, board member representing The Papers Inc., told the group the Dixie Day Festival would be held Saturday, July 25.
She also saluted life long North Webster resident and former 20 year Town Marshal Tony Strombeck, who recently passed away. “Tony and his family have served North Webster for generations and continue to do so,” she remarked.
Chamber members donated an impressive number of items for the silent auction, which raised funds for the group. Winners were announced at the end of the evening. Susan Stump, The Papers Inc. board member, was in charge of the event.