Five people and one Missouri business were honored by the Warrenton Chamber of Commerce at its annual awards dinner where more than $7000 was raised for R-III school district students.
The Warrenton Chamber of Commerce celebrated its annual awards banquet Jan. 26 at the MaryLou Community Center in Truesdale.
During the event, five individuals and one business were honored for their service to the Warrenton area.
The event also raised $7,137, with the money going to scholarships for Warrenton High School students.
These were the individuals and the business honored during the event:
Dan Dieckmann was honored with the chamber’s Allen Dryer Award. Dryer was a longtime supporter of the chamber, and the award is given in his memory to an individual who has “gone the extra mile” in supporting the chamber and the community.
The award is chosen by the chamber board.
Dieckmann currently serves on the board of directors of First State Community Bank and Agape Ministries. He previously served as an alderman.
Dieckmann “is a true asset to the community, and his tireless efforts, both in the public eye and behind the scenes, have not gone unnoticed,” outgoing President Katie Joyce said during the presentation. “His unwavering dedication and genuine concern for the well-being of others make him a respected and beloved figure in Warren County, and his contributions continue to positively impact the lives of many.”
“Thank you so much, I’m truly honored. I didn’t expect this at all,” Dieckmann said after being presented with the award. “Warrenton and Warren County has been just a phenomenal place to grow up and still work. … This community really wraps its arms around you in good times and in bad times.”
Andrew Sitton was named the emergency services person of the year.
Criteria for the selection of the Chamber award was based on degree of commitment exhibited in performance of their duties, being a positive ambassador to the community, and length of time as Warrenton emergency services person.
Sitton, a detective with the Warrenton Police Department, was honored for his work as a member of the St. Charles County Cyber Crimes Task Force where he is tasked with investigations involving the online exploitation of children and child pornography.
Sitton was awarded a letter of commendation in recognition of his efforts in a child porn investigation that resulted in the rescue of two children who were being sexually abused and exploited on the Internet.
“His dedication and service are truly appreciated,” incoming board President Samantha Richardson said during the presentation.
Scott Taylor had also been nominated for this award.
Daniel Boone Elementary School teacher Tracy Halter was named the educator of the year.
This was the second time Halter had been nominated for the honor. The other nominee in this category was Daniel Boone Principal Stacie Goldsmith.
“Tracy truly cares about her school and students, and it shows in her students MAP testing scores, grades and how her students, parents and the faculty all love her,” Joyce said during the presentation.
Criteria for this honor was the degree of commitment exhibited in performance of their duties, being a positive ambassador to the community, and the length of time as a Warrenton educator.
Julia Busken was named the volunteer of the year during the awards ceremony.
Criteria for the award was being a positive ambassador to the community, their impact within the community, and the number of volunteer hours.
Busken has volunteered with multiple organizations, including the United Cerebral Palsy Association, Marygrove, Girl Scouts, and she is in her 19th year of working with Special Olympics Missouri.
She also volunteers with Warren County Pathfinders.
“She is quick to advocate on behalf of anyone, no matter where or when she is needed,” Richardson said during the presentation.
Asa Walters and Anthony Peixoto had also been nominated for this award.
Katie Taylor was named the person of the year.
Taylor has worked in the community for the past six years and has spent the past 26 years supporting and advocating for individuals with developmental/intellectual disabilities. She also volunteers with her two youngest boy’s school, serving as vice president of the PTO and being a part of various committees and organizations. She also coaches basketball for Holy Rosary and Special Olympics, and is the founder and co-adviser of the Warren County People First Chapter.
Criteria for this award was being a positive ambassador for the community, community involvement, and being an involved member with the chamber.
“Katie spends the majority of her free time volunteering in our community and has the biggest heart around,” Joyce said during the presentation.
Jeff Culbertson had also been nominated for this award.
Warren County Pathfinders was named the business of the year during the awards ceremony.
Criteria included being a positive ambassador for the community, community involvement, and being an active member of the chamber.
Warren County Pathfinders, formerly known as Warren County Handicapped Services, began its work in the community in September 1986. It has steadily grown since, and now provides 13 different programs and services for close to 275 people, Richardson said during the presentation.
Forward Visual had also been nominated for this award.
About the author: Jason Koch is the editor of The Warren County Record, and covers local news and government for the newspaper. He has won multiple awards from both the Indiana and Illinois APME and from the Illinois Press Association. He can be reached at 636-456-6397 or at firstname.lastname@example.org