Chamber Annual Meeting and Community Awards Oct. 29
The FACC 2020 Community Awards were presented at the Chamber Annual Meeting on Thursday, October 29th. This year, we are pleased to recognize citizen Harold Schaefer, business Fennimore Vet Clinic, organization Fennimore Area Health Services, and exemplary service Drew Nussbaum.
The Fennimore Chamber of Commerce has been recognizing Fennimore area volunteers since 1981. Originally recognition began with the Sweetheart of the Year, dual recognition began in 1985 when the chamber added the Citizens of the Year. In 1996 the chamber decided to recognize two men or women as Citizens of the Year in place of the Sweetheart recognition. In 2010 the chamber further expanded their recognition of Fennimore area volunteers by recognizing Citizen of the Year, Fennimore Family of the Year and Fennimore Business of the Year.
In 2017 the Chamber board added another category “The Chamber Exemplary Service Award“. Nominated by the board, this award recognizes an individual who is not a Fennimore resident but believes in the community and goes out of their way to volunteer their services and expertise to better the community, which in turn, benefits the community.
In 2018 the Chamber decided to begin recognizing an Organization of the Year. The Chamber is also recognizing all chamber businesses celebrating their 50th Anniversary in business.
2020 Award Winners
Read the complete award announcement. A summary for each award is below.
2020 Citizen of the Year: Harold Schaefer
Harold Schaefer was chosen as the 2020 Citizen of the Year. Although Harold graduated from Boscobel High School he has been a resident of Fennimore for 45 years. Harold worked for Koshkee Transfer for many years and most recently retired from Arrow Express/Boscobel. Harold has also had a sideline upholstery business and EyeCaught Photography business specializing in outdoor nature with special emphasis on bird photography; especially Eagle photos.
Fennimore’s own Janis (Preston) Schaefer is what brought Harold to Fennimore (along with Harold’s involvement playing fast pitch for Tino’s team). Janis and Harold were married for 44 years before her death November 2019. Harold and Janis had three children who are all graduates of Fennimore High School.
Community service – Harold is a longtime and frequent blood donor. During COVID – Harold came up with the idea to take photos with graduates and family members next to their graduate signs in front of the Memorial building. He also took it upon himself to create a mask project in honor of Janis. He developed a pattern and to date has created 1270 (and counting) masks which he “gave away” to anyone in Fennimore and the surrounding area who asked for them not accepting any reimbursement. But he is not done yet; let him know if you need a mask, a certain material, etc. Some masks have also been sent out across the area and other states including FL, Utah, MN, IA, IL and other states!
Harold asked us to share he wants to thank the nominators whoever they are. He didn’t expect any recognition he just wanted to do the right thing to keep people safe. He accepts this award in honor of everyone out there who have made masks. Harold commented “I am very humbled by this award!”
2020 Business of the Year: Fennimore Vet Clinic
Business of the Year – Fennimore Vet Clinic – Dr Ray Leonard has been at the Vet Clinic for 41 years and Dr Tom Hermsen has been there 21 years. Staff includes Angie Hermsen and Amy Knoble.
The nominator wrote: “The team at Fennimore Vet Clinic is committed to helping large and small animals for farmers and area residents. From late night farm calls to emergency small animal surgeries to basic animal health (along with health and nutrition products available at the clinic or by mail) Dr Ray and Dr Tom can be found assisting people with their animals. Pets are family members, and the team at Fennimore Vet Clinic goes above and beyond to make sure that all animals are given the best care.”
The Fennimore Vet Clinic raises the bar by investing in their community outside of animal care. In the summer of 2020 Fennimore Vet Clinic went above and beyond to make sure that the people of our community had food. They organized a dairy box and produce give away where more than 900 boxes were given out thru a drive-through event. Through the years, the veterinarians and staff are great supporters of the 4-H and FFA programs and youth livestock projects. Thank you to the Fennimore Vet Clinic for the difference you are making in our community!
2020 Organization of the Year: Fennimore Area Health Services
Fennimore Area Health Services, Ltd (FAHS) was created in 1983 to encourage the availability of quality health care services for the people of Fennimore, WI. The impetus behind its creation was to build a medical/dental clinic and recruit a physician and dentist to the community. A community-wide fund drive was held and through private donations from individuals and businesses, the Plattner Clinic was completed in 1983. Read all about the history at their website. Fennimore Dental LLC and Gundersen Boscobel Area Hospital and Clinics – Fennimore currently occupy the clinic.
The FAHS Board at their discretion annually awards scholarships to eligible applicants pursuing an education in a health care related field. Fennimore School District High School seniors and graduates of all ages attending college who meet the requirements may apply.
In addition to awarding scholarships, FAHS supports community health-related entities and services providing donations annually and on a per instance basis. Thanks to a long list of passionate FAHS board members over the years this civic organization was ready for a call in action during COVID-19 to donate masks, promote mask safety through newspaper ads and more.
Officers include: John Wells, President, Vicki Marish, Treasurer and Sally Rosemeyer, Secretary
Board members include: Vince Lease, Len Leis, Kristy Wiest, Kevin Ruchti and JoAnn Wiederholt.
2020 Chamber Exemplary Service Award: Andrew “Drew” Nussbaum, Regional Tourism Specialist, WI Department of Tourism
Each year the Chamber board members choose someone from outside of the Fennimore community to recognize for their contributions to make Fennimore a better place. This year FACC has selected Drew Nussbaum, Regional Tourism Specialist, WI Department of Tourism from Beaver Dam to receive this honor.
Promotions Coordinator, Linda Parrish, expressed her appreciation for all of the assistance that Drew has given to Fennimore Chamber and area businesses over the years but especially during the current pandemic. But in the case of Fennimore, Drew has been involved “over and above” the normal duties by assisting the Fennimore Area Chamber of Commerce (FACC). “During the time I worked from home, Drew was my lifeline with regional, state and nationwide information from safety protocol to resources, grant programs and zoom trainings which I was able to pass along to Fennimore businesses.”
“Over the years I’ve worked with Drew, he has always been there to assist and give advice for not only Fennimore but also Grant County and regional grass root organizations like Grant County Tourism Council and SW Wisconsin Chamber Alliance.”
Thank you, Drew, for your fantastic support of the Fennimore community!
The Chamber thanks all of the nominators who shared the details of the great work done by volunteers who may have gone unnoticed. Nominations are accepted in June each year.
Recognizing Outstanding Citizens since 1985
The FACC has been recognizing Fennimore area residents who have made a significant difference in the community since 1985. Those who have been previously recognized include Jim Larson (1985), Nick Kramer (1986), Al Truitt (1987), Harold Plattner and Charlie Roethe (1988), Hazel Craig (1989), Jim Soman (1990) Ray Hoffman (1991), Virgil Brodt (1992), Charles Stenner (1993), Gerald Munns (1994), Rob Rands (1995), Joe Novinska/Anne Novinska (1996) Steve Briehl/Marcia Bahl (1997), Dennis Lendosky/Sally Behnke (1998), Jerry Day/Richard Rogers, (1999), John Briel/Margaret Sprague (2000), Nancy Vogel/Matt Johnson (2001), Martha Hestad/Bill Wood (2002), Connie Schiestl/Richard Carlin (2003), Kris Fry/Doug Daechsel (2004), Bob Craig/Jeri Novinska (2005), Ed Klais/Alice Mudler (2006), Steve Lendosky/Henry Oechsle (2007), Pam Kreul/Tim Slack (2008), Len Leis and Renee Zintz (2009), Dr. Aguilar and Mary Davis (2010), Pastor Leroy Johnsrud, Robert and Dorothy Swenson, and WebWise Design & Marketing (2011); Jamie Nutter, Shirley & Dave and Wendy & Al Stelpflug and Rayovac Fennimore Plant (2012); Cindy Arndt, Herb & Harriet Brun and Suppz Gym (2013); Dean Ashmore; Art and Sherry Freymiller; Fennimore Livestock Exchange/Jake Klais, LuAnna, Brooke and Tyler Staskal (2014); 2015 Awards – Nelson Properties/Rick and Beth Nelson, Murray Heitzer, and Peterson Family – Aaron, Sara, Aidan, Jessica and Marge Peterson; 2016 Awards – Connie Neal and Ingeborg Froiland, Rob and Karla Witzig family and Good Samaritan Society. 2017 Awards – Citizen: Kevin Everson; Family: Marty & Charity Bray family; Business: Collision Specialist LLC; Exemplary Service Award: Denise Deaton-Tolzman/Sales Representative QueenB Radio Group. 2018 Awards – Citizens: Trudie Freymiller and Keith Novinska; Family: Bill & Brenda Wood Family; Business: Brechler-Lendosky Group, LLC; Exemplary Service Award: Dr. Jason Wood; Organization: Fennimore Fire Department; 60th Anniversary Business: H & N Plumbing and Heating; 50th Anniversary Businesses: Hickory Grove Golf Course and Casey’s General Convenience Store. 2019 Awards – Citizen of the Year: Jeff Hagen; Family of the Year: Tom & Kathy Kenney; Business of the Year: Tina’s BarkN Beauties; Organization of the Year: Fennimore Industrial & Economic Development Corp; Exemplary award was awarded to Dennis Cooley/Southwest Tech. 2020 Awards – Citizen of the Year: Harold Schaefer; Business of the Year: Fennimore Vet Clinic; Organization of the Year: Fennimore Area Health Services; Exemplary Service Award: Drew Nussbaum.
Chamber Sweetheart of the Year include Gilda Finnegan (1981), Sybil Koenecke (1982), Velma Helgeson (1983), Norma Brechler (1984), Sarah Lendosky (1985), Brenda Schumacher, Gladys Pettera, Harriet Copus, Isabelle Doyle, Bernice Woll, Arlene Dempsey, Nancy Wells, Linda Parrish, JoAnne Wiederholdt and Jane Soman.