The Arcadia Area Chamber of Commerce Annual Meeting

The Arcadia Area Chamber of Commerce held their annual meeting on Friday evening, January 24, 2003 at the Arcadia Country Club.  There were nearly 120 people who attended the event. 

Election of officers was held during the meeting.  Newly elected members of the Chamber Board of Directors, Lyn Putz and Chris HowardLyn Putz, of Blaschko Enterprises, along with Chris Howard, of Howard's Hardware Hank were elected to serve a three year term as a member of the Board of Directors.  The 2002 Accomplishments were presented to the group attending, along with the goals set for 2003. 

Some of the 2002 accomplishments listed were the Easter Egg Hunt, where over 500 children participated, the Ag Day event, presence in the Broiler Dairy Day parade with a float, assisting the Veterans groups with the Moving Wall project, the Night Golf event, the Christmas decorating contest, and Santa's workshop. 

Each year, the Chamber acknowledges individuals and businesses of the area.  The Kathy Bisek presents the Community Service Award to Mary Benusa as Todd Fetsch looks on...Community Service award is given to an individual who unselfishly volunteers  their free time for the betterment of the community.  This year's award winner was Mary Benusa of rural Arcadia.  Mary has been involved in many community projects over the past 17 years from her involvement in Holy Family Parish activities to her involvement in the Miss Arcadia Pageant, where she is presently the Executive Director.  Mary is employed at the Arcadia Credit Union and also works part time at Killians Furnishings.  She and her husband, Ron, have 3 grown children, Angie, Matt, and Bekah. 

On hand to present Mary with this award were Todd Fetsch and Kathy Bisek.  Mary stated that she is lucky to have been able to be involved in the many activities, where she has met and made many new friends over the years. 

The Draft Horse Inn was chosen by the Chamber for the Business of the Year award.  Ron and Connie Soppa were farming in rural Arcadia when they decided to sell their cows and start a new venture.  Draft Horse Inn Owners, Ron and Connie Soppa receive the Business of the Year Award from Sue KiehlTheir love for draft horses began when Ron was a child, with his father owning draft horses.  Ron and Connie decided in 1996 to combine their love for draft horses, along with their yearning to own a lodging facility and created the Draft Horse Inn, which is located on Blaschko Avenue, just off of Hwy 93 in Arcadia.   Many of the items decorating the inn come from Ron and Connie's personal collection.  The trophy cases reflect some accomplishments from their horse-pulling passion.  Ron and Connie are known to take their guests to their farm to see the draft horses.  Ron and Connie expressed thanks to the community for their support by sending clients to their inn. 

Sue Kiehl was on hand to present the Business of the Year award to Ron and Connie.

Mary Frisch was chosen to receive the Chamber's Educational Service Award for 2003.  Mary was born and raised in Arcadia.  Mary's mother, Evelyn, was her role model in both her family and professional lives as Terry Madden presents the Educational Service Award to Mary FrischEvelyn taught in the same school district for 31 years.  Mary grew up knowing exactly what was involved in the classroom with having helped her mother correct papers, etc.  This began her love of being a teacher. 

Mary has spent the past 17 years as a teacher in the School District of Arcadia, after having taught in Kenosha, Wisconsin for a short time.  Her sister, Margaret, is also a teacher and is presently teaching in the Kenosha area. 

Mary accepted the Educational Service Award not only on her behalf, but that of her fellow teachers in the district.  She states that it is with their help that she feels that she has become the teacher she is today.  The award was presented by Terry Madden.

Patsy Kamla, of rural Arcadia, was pleasantly surprised when Franciscan Skemp Healthcare presented her with their Cornerstone ofPatsy Kamla receives Cornerstone of Service Award from Helen Blaha Service Award during the annual Chamber meeting.  Patsy has been involved in many community functions, along with giving tirelessly to the Franciscan Skemp Foundation.  Patsy stated that she enjoys her involvement over the years with Franciscan Skemp as it affords her many opportunities to help others. 

Helen Blaha of the Franciscan Skemp Foundation Board was on hand to present this award to Patsy. 

Patsy lives in rural Arcadia with her husband, Richard.  They have two grown daughters, Claire and Margaret. 

President Witte presents a clock to retiring Board Member, Lynnelle BawekRetiring board member, Lynnelle Bawek was given a clock for her years of service as a member of the Board of Directors of the Chamber by President Keith Witte. 

Lynnelle plans to continue working with businesses who wish to locate in Arcadia. 

She is a substitute teacher at both Arcadia Catholic School and the School District of Arcadia., along with working at Bawek's Shoe Store, where she is a business partner.

Lynnelle lives in Arcadia with her husband, Craig.  They have three children.