BREMEN — Last Thursday night business heads, community leaders, their families and the general public gathered at the Bremen VFW/American Legion building to honor select present and former Bremen residents.
Some graciously accepted while others were introduced by grateful family members representing them. Bremen Chamber of Commerce President Bill Davis led the evening sharing the fact that the Chamber had been established 44 years ago and explaining how the leaders honored annually are selected.
“They aren’t voted on by Chamber members,” he said. “They are nominated by the public and everyone that’s ever been nominated — but not awarded — remains on the list. Many are on the list but didn’t get the most votes. The ones that get the most votes at the same time are chosen for the award.”
Davis said that this year, after allowing votes to be offered online, the Chamber received a record number of names people thought should be honored. Joe Martin Sr. was introduced by his son and accepted the award on his own saying that his success was primarily due to “the support of my family, good employees, and the support of the people of Bremen.”
The late Greg Mishler was honored and his son Sen. Ryan Mishler accepted on his behalf, explaining that his father had made a positive difference in the lives of a large number of people he had come to know, and expressed his great pride he felt for his father.
Steve Reidenbach accepted the award for his father Phil who’s health was too poor to travel from South Carolina to Bremen to accept in person. His son spoke of his father’s various accomplishments and noted that the foundation he started at Community Hospital of Bremen has raised more than $3 million since its inception and noted that his work with the Bremen Holy Walk was something he was most passionate about.
Bremen High School Principal Bruce Jennings introduced student award winner LaurieAnne Wickens. He said he suggests his students remember to “love people and use things, not the other way around,” and presented his student with not only the Chamber award but also with a $500 check for her efforts.
Speaker Charlie Adams, once recognized during his 23 years in the television business as “Chopper Charlie,” shared comical anecdotes and inspiring advice and recalled his relationship with fellow local news personality Dean Huppert, referring to him as “one of the best in the history of sports news anchors.” Adams also spoke fondly and highly of several successful people that may have been little known to the general public but that were inspiring to him and quoted Lou Holtz and the secret to being content: having something positive to do, something to look forward to, someone to love and something to believe in.