Local citizens and groups were properly recognized (Wednesday) at the Watseka Area Chamber of Commerce annual awards banquet.
The Chamber and the Times-Republic share the spotlight in presenting awards.
Hayden Schaumburg and Martha Howe were named Citizen-of-the-Year and Lifetime Achievement Award winners, respectively, by the Times-Republic.
The Chamber of Commerce earlier named Helen Gerber its Staff Achievement Award winner. The City of Watseka – City Council and City Employees earned the Professional Award.
Martha Howe's leadership in directing the Watseka Food Pantry earned her the accolades. Her nomination cited her "backbone and energy that makes the Pantry a successful organization."
Howe supervises more than a dozen volunteers to make sure people in need are served. The nomination also referred to Martha's effort in helping Watseka flood victims receive extra food and cleaning supplies.
The nomination also called "Martha a true blessing to this community and the county."
Helen Gerber's pat-on-the-back from the Chamber highlighted her involvement with the Watseka Kiwanis Club, working with many of the club programs.
Gerber is also involved in children's educational programs at schools and church and the library. She told the audience, we can leave positive footprints.
Watseka Mayor Bob Harwood praised the city employees for their extra effort during the city's recent bouts with flooding. Two major floods in July and again in December had the city on its heels. But the city employees' effort to help residents and businesses get back on their feet, was most recognized.
The City employees and Council are recipients of the Professional Award.