Connellsville chamber honors residents who are committed to community
By Marilyn Forbes
Published: Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2013, 12:31 a.m.
It was an evening filled with honor, excitement and surprise as the Greater Connellsville Chamber of Commerce held its annual awards dinner, honoring several groups and individuals for their achievements and contributions to Connellsville and the surrounding area.
“This is an event where we recognize those groups and individuals who have made a difference and thank them for their contributions to the community,” Chamber President Bill Fiesta said. “They have all helped to make Connellsville a better place to be.”
Awards Committee member Gretchen Mundorff said the group enjoys surprising recipients. That goal was achieved on Tuesday night, because most of the award winners said they were not aware their names would be called.
“I was totally surprised,” said Daniel Cocks, who received a Beautification Award for his business, ArtWorks. “No one mentioned anything to me.”
Chamber board members made the presentations. Each winner received a plaque after descriptions of their achievements and contributions were explained to the crowd of nearly 150.
The first winner of the night, for Special Recognition, was Christine Wallander. Board member Robin Bubarth listed all of Wallander's work with the library and other groups within the community.
The Special Service Group Award was given to South Connellsville Rod and Gun Club, accepted by club President Jeff Conko.
Board member Michael Edwards presented the Community Service Individual Award to Terry Shallenberger for his work with the train canteen and a proposed soccer complex he hopes to bring to Connellsville.
“We don't do this for awards, we do this because it's the right thing to do,” Shallenberger said.
The Beautification awards were presented by board member Bryan Kisiel, who said the awards were for those who have “made outstanding efforts to beautify our community.”
The business awarded a Beautification Award was ArtWorks. The individual awarded a Beautification Award was Sheree Cockrell for her murals she painted on the outside of the ArtWorks building.
The Distinguished Citizen Award went to John Truxel, presented to him by Chamber President Bill Fiesta.
“I'm just happy to be able to represent Connellsville in everything that I do,” Truxel said. “I wouldn't change anything.”
The final award of the evening, the Athena, was presented by former winner Gretchen Mundorff, who was pleased to announce that this year's award winner was her longtime friend, businesswomen and volunteer Lisa Malago. Malago has been involved for years with the Special Olympics.
“I was very surprised,” Malago said. “I am very, very honored and very proud to share the honor of winning this award with all of the women who have received it in the past.”
The dinner was also a celebration of the 25th anniversary of the awarding of the Athena, and 14 of the past winners were in attendance. All were recognized and applauded.
Marilyn Forbes is a freelance writer.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
- Texas company offers investment in millions to upgrade Everson plant
- Geibel alumnus Sammy Brooks to perform jazz during tuition fundraiser on Saturday
- Recording studio joins Connellsville community center’s growing artist enclave
- Lemont woman accused of stealing purses, using credit cards
- Election board rejects ballot referendum on Fayette County prison issues
- West Leisenring band’s EP release party to benefit firefighters
- Brush fire season keeps Fayette firefighters busy
- Connellsville Community Yard Sale set May 3; enrollment deadline is April 28
- Small-business opportunities exist in the Fay-West
- Police pursuit ends with Smithfield suspect wounded, thirsty for beer
- Closure of West Side News shocks previous owners