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The People's Tribune

Chamber Celebrates Successful Year

Ann Narramore, Bart Niedner, And Others Recognized With Awards

It was another banner night for the Louisiana Chamber of Commerce at their annual banquet on Friday, April 7.

The theme of this year’s event was “Bridging the Gap” and Keith Killen, MoDOT Transportation Project Manager, provided the program on replacement of the Champ Clark Bridge.

The banquet also featured a slate of awards including the Citizen of the Year. Patty Bolton, the 2016 recipient, had the honor of introducing this year’s winner, Ann Narramore. Bolton noted that Narramore has lived in Louisiana most of her life. She attended Gem City Business College and worked for 30 years. She has donated her time to the Louisiana Historical Museum, the Buffalo Township United Fund, Buffalo Cemetery, the local food pantries, the Twin Pike Family YMCA, the Louisiana Herb Garden, PEO and the Ecumenical Women’s Group. She has also been instrumental in organizing the annual Thanksgiving dinner for the community.

Narramore’s family surprised her by joining her after the award was presented.

Mona Brown presented this year’s Chamber Member of the Year award to Mayor Bart Niedner.

She noted that chief among his many accolades is the tireless work he provided to making sure the replacement of the Champ Clark Bridge would be a reality.

“This year’s theme ‘Bridging the Gap’ is a fitting one for our Member of the Year. This person believes in building bridges, not burning them; in creating a firm foundation and carefully planning the structure to span from one side to the other,” Brown explained.

“We’ve heard tonight about the plans to replace the iconic Champ Clark Bridge. A bridge that just a couple of short years ago, our community couldn’t foresee getting funded. A project that while everyone seemed to wish it could be so, they just couldn’t see a way to make it happen. Making that project more than a wish, more than even a glimmer of a possibility took much work and perseverance. It took ‘Bridging the Gap’ between wishes and firm planning,” Brown stated. “It took persistence and creative directions to impress upon the powers that be, that Louisiana wasn’t the ones that needed this bridge. Indeed it was all the people of Missouri and Illinois that needed it; the citizens, the businesses, and yes, the governments.”

Niedner presented the Community Contributor award. He noted the purpose of the award is “not to underscore the obvious; rather it exposes the good we take for granted. This award chooses a representative thread in our common fabric. It pulls back the hustle of our busy lives and celebrates one of the fibers giving strength to our community. It gives us pause to look around and see the many efforts of wonderful people who labor for the common good, quietly and too often, without our notice.”

He presented the award to Tammi Smith.

“Tammi has been a supporter of the local animal shelter for more than six years. She was instrumental in facilitating a volunteer program for helping with our animal control duties as well as bridging funding gaps with the procurement of supplies. Tammi has been involved in, organized, and worked many fundraisers to get much-needed supplies and equipment to our local pound. Her passion is helping turn municipal animal control into an opportunity to warm our homes and prevent animal abuse by placing neglected animals in loving families. She was one of the first foster homes for animals to help get them adopted out while keeping them out of shelter life. She researched state legislation and helped with modification of our ordinances to promote our pet-friendly community. Her involvement has led to helping countless animals find quality homes when they otherwise may have been euthanized. Over the past year, she has been a key partner in building an innovative and workable solution to the feral cat issue in Louisiana, the Community Cat Coalition. Her work with this organization has been direct and hands-on, helping with the trapping and neutering/spaying, and facilitating the communication of the program to the community. She has also set up several low-cost spay/neuter programs for the area through the Carol House Foundation. Tammi does all this, out of the ‘public eye’ driven by a love for animals and a passion for our community,” he remarked.

The Louisiana Historical Museum recognized Martha Sue Smith for serving 25 years as president of the organization.

Louisiana Community Betterment presented their annual award to Julie Stephens.

The night also featured the installation of officers including Justin Selle, president; Heidi McCullom, vice president; Marvin Brown, secretary; and Mona Brown, treasurer.

The banquet featured a prime rib dinner at the Elks Lodge 791. The Louisiana High School National Honor Society helped with the meal.

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