Thanks and steaks galore at the 2010-2012 Chamber Appreciation Dinner

Regardless of the recent rain and dip in temperatures, Porter’s was humming with activity inside and out on Saturday when the Superior of Chamber of Commerce held an appreciation dinner to show recognition to their tight community of volunteers who have helped out from 2010-2012.

Current President Leslie Martin sighed and said “We don’t know what we would do without you, we need our volunteers!” to which Tina Gutierrez, who has been the Volunteer Coordinator for the chamber for several years, commented “Thank you for being here…when I call ask if you can give me an hour, it is so wonderful to hear ‘Yes, I can’”.

The steak dinner was provided by the Red Beards group, known everywhere for their enviable grilling skills and fantastic bevy of good deeds that they love to shell out. Hank Gutierrez rocked the microphone as a superb emcee and utilized the time while the crowd was chowing down to hand out a few awards for exceptional volunteerism.

The award for Non-Chamber Member was presented to Karen Amdahlwho volunteers at the Visitor Center “Caboose” weekly, along with volunteers at all of the chamber events for the last three years.

Gutierrez noted that she “talks at least one or two of her friends into tagalong” to help volunteer.

The award for a Non-Profit Origination Value Partner was graciously handed off to Boyce Thompson Arboretum, which has been instrumental in encouraging, through their volunteer program, volunteer participation and support for chamber events.

They have partnered with the chamber for several events in the past, including the Superior Home Tour, which takes place in January, and the Prickly Pear Festival, new to the roster in August.

Paul Wolterbeek received the award on the behalf of the Executive Director, Mark Siegwarth, and as he did so invited two of their most active volunteers,Gene and Mary, to receive the award with him.

The Red Bears were asked to take a break from the grill so that they could receive the award for Non-Profit Organization; not only have the Red Beards provided favorable and flavorful outdoor cooking talent for various Chamber events and other community fundraisers, they have taken something that started as a group activity enjoyed by friends over 15 years ago and turned it into a truly inspirational organization which has impacted a wide array of people in our community from children to the disadvantaged to the elderly.

Deciding who to give the award for Business Non-Chamber Member was a no brainerEddie Gutierrez of RSC/United Rentals, of course. For three years as a citizen of Superior and non-chamber member, Eddie has highlighted the value of community participation and did this even before sponsorships of chamber events and community fundraisers was available. He consistently has provided the very much needed lighting and power for these events and always does so with a smile.

The next award should really be called the Award for the Most Energy and Infectious Positivity, simply because the couple receiving the Chamber Members Award, Bill and Nancy Vogler, imbue each of these great qualities and more.

Even though Gutierrez tried to be brief in his laudation of the Voglers, it was obvious that his list of great things to say about the pair was endless. Bill has been the Chamber handyman happily buzzing from project to project. For the Apache Leap Festival he makes sure the stage is setup and recovered safely, and then returned to the sponsor every year.

For the Home Tour, Bill maps out the where signage will be placed and helps with placement and recovery, along with making himself available as an extra hand with all chamber events. His wife Nancy has acted as the vendor coordinator andthe entertainment coordinator for the Apache Leap Mining Festival.

The Voglers also are gracious in hosting the many home tour planning meetings at their home.

Mario Sanchez of Superior Environmental Solutions Inc. and his wife April were the obvious choice to receive the Business Chamber Member Award. Mario designed the current layout for the annual Apache Leap mining competition area, along with providing the labor to build it out and continues to do so as a sponsor.

He is a reliable go-to resource for value added contacts for all chamber events. One of the coolest things about Mario and April though, is the humility with which they give their time and resources to the chamber and the community, as if the theme of their day is always “no big thing, happy to do it,” always said with a wide smile.

The Board Member Award was awarded to Sue Anderson, who was unable to be present to receive her award, but sent a few words that were read by Leslie Martin on her behalf. Anderson may be tiny in frame but if the mountains were named after those who had the most immense spirit and tenacity, Mount Sue would reign supreme. The woman is driven, clever and lively and she deserves a thank you in every possible language for all that she does.

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