‘Enthusiasm is a form of social courage’
By Alex Portal
Black Hills Pioneer
LEAD — The Lead Area Chamber of Commerce’s Annual Banquet was unabated by the harsh weather Thursday and all who braved the blizzard were treated to an evening of entertainment and recognition.
“You know what is really going to make Lead awesome?” Chamber Director Sierra Ward posed. “(It’s) what has already made Lead awesome, and that is the people. You’re here. We’re Lead, and we’re here on this kind of a night because we’re enthusiastic!”
The Sanford Homestake Visitor Center exhibit hall, which doubled as a banquet hall for the event, was divided up into 14 tables, each representing some of the cultural neighborhoods that compiled Leads ethnically eclectic past.
After the worldwide food tour, a bevy of delectable deserts were auctioned off to help raise money for the chamber.
Amid the uplifting speeches, “Ole and Lena” jokes, and coveted confections, the chamber also had to say goodbye to a number of board of director’s members whose terms were up. Sarah Carlson, Jay Jacobs, and Chris Roberts were all bid a fond farewell, while Kathy Jurgens, Scott Engel, and Karen Kean were welcomed as incoming board members.
The annual awards kicked off with the “Thomas J. Grier Award” was given to Oz Enderby for his ongoing efforts in the community.
Enderby serves the Lead-Deadwood community as vice commander of the VFW, commander of the American Legion, a member of the Opera House and Lead-Deadwood Community Fund board, president and secretary of the Lead Fire Protection District, and president of the Deer Mountain Road District and Sanitary District
“It’s a real joy to be back in Lead and be able to help the community; thank you,” Enderby said.
The “Lead The Way Award” was given to Whitetail Creek Resort for its expansion and growth in the community.
The “Miles Beyond Ordinary Award” was given to El Jefe’s Fresh-Mex Cantina for its investment as a new business in the community.
The “Phoebe Apperson Hearst Outstanding Educator Award” was given to Donna Job for her work not only as an English teacher in the Lead-Deadwood School District from 1976 to 1988, but also for her continuing service to education as the executive director of the Sanford Homestake Visitor Center.
“I used to play school all the time,” Job said. “Now I get to teach the Road Scholars in the classroom and also preschoolers when they come to our science and stories so it’s just something I love to do so thank you very much.”
The “Business of the Year Award” was given to Lynn’s Dakotamart. Chris Murray, long time manager who recently was promoted to oversee multiple stores throughout the state, was on hand to accept the award along with Steve Ralfston, his newly appointed successor.
“We greatly appreciate all you guys supporting us,” Murray said. “And we try to give back in that same way. … You guys are in good hands, and I’ll still be around, and thank you for everything in the past few years.”
Joyce Carsten was named the “Chamber Champion” for her enthusiastic advocacy for the Lead community.
“We all work towards a really common goal and that’s the betterment of everybody and anybody that’s in Lead and for that I cherish every moment here,” Carsten said.
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