Chamber of Commerce awards night
Service to the community was highlighted Wednesday evening at the Watseka Area Chamber of Commerce's annual banquet.
"Celebrating 70 years" is this year's theme.
The Business Leadership Award and the Staff Achievement Award were among the honors presented at Celebrations. Business friends, family and others were on hand at the banquet hall where the Times-Republic also presented its annual awards, the Citizen-of-the-Year and Lifetime Achievement honor.
Chuck Gomez and Debra Liddell earned the Citizens of the year honor. Nominated by former mayor Ted Horner, he pointed out the effort Chuck & Debra have given in restoring the Watseka Theatre and making it a entertainment attraction, again.
Horner talked about how the theatre was always a gathering place for entertainment and fun. And Chuck and Debra actually saved the theatre from the wrecking ball years go. A big-time renovation project finds the theatre a fine entertainment venue again.
U-S Navy veteran Jack Swan is this year's Lifetime Achievement honoree. The WWII veteran not only served his country in Australia. New Guinea, the Philippines and Japan, he also continues to serve veterans needs at home.
Nominated by Watseka's Andy Guimond, the nomination mentions Jack Swan's countless hours serving the American Legion and VFW over the years. He's the guy you can't miss on Walnut Street during Poppy Day sales. He's been active in the upkeep of Legion Park over the years and has been local president of the Shriners, helping children projects.