Carbon County Chamber of Commerce honored outstanding volunteers and community members during the 2011 Annual Dinner and Awards Ceremony held Wednesday at Blue Mountain Ski Area, Vista Ballroom.
It was a night of celebration to honor the many volunteers and community members who have helped the area and chamber thrive and grow and help make Carbon County a wonderful place to live, work, play and raise a family.
David Althouse, chairman of the CCCC board, welcomed the crowd of about 150 people. Jack Sturm, vice chairman, served as master of ceremony.
The keynote speaker was Bill Fontana, executive director of Pennsylvania Downtown Center. Fontana, who took the reins of the Pennsylvania Downtown Center in 2000, encouraged people to work together, because not working together hinders progress.
After Fontana's speech, the various councils honored their selected honorees.
Dave Figenshu, chairman of the Penn-Kidder Council presented the Citizen of the Year award to Rich More. More was honored for his dedication and outstanding service to the chamber and the Penn Kidder community.
More thanked the chamber for giving him the opportunity to serve.
Honored with the Outstanding Volunteer Award for her service as the Jim Thorpe Fall Foliage chairwoman by the Jim Thorpe Council for the past two years was Mari Gruber. Under her direction, the Jim Thorpe event was expanded to four weekends, making organizing a challenging project, but one that has gained Jim Thorpe Fall Foliage Weekends as Yahoo's top destination in the country.
Gruber thanked Bart Springer, chairman of the Jim Thorpe Council, for his kind words.
"I know that the festival is not done by one person," she said. "It's an effort of a lot of people. This award is for the entire committee."
When Panther Valley Chamber chose its recipient, it honored Lansford-Summit Hill Community Partnership to receive the Volunteer Group of the Year Award. This group of individuals formed in late 2010 by pooling the resources of two local nonprofit organizations, Lansford Alive and Summit Hill Community Improvement Organization to form the partnership. In April the partnership established an office and hired a project manager. Members are Mark Sverchek, Chris Ondrus, David Benevy, Deborah Ranck, Harry Miller, Michele Toniatti and Dale Freudenberger, chairman.
Martha Rex of the Panther Valley Council presented the award to the group.
Freudenberger invited any energetic people to join the group.
Peter Kern of the Palm