The Doniphan County Chamber of Commerce held its annual Business Appreciation Breakfast on Thursday, June 23, 2022 at the Highland Community College Walters Wellness Center.
At 7:30 a.m., Chamber President, Marty Allen, welcomed business leaders, city and county officials, volunteers and their families to the event and expressed his gratitude to chamber members for their support.
The Pledge of Allegiance was led by Lincoln, Piper and Archer Cluck, children of Mayor John and Heather Cluck.
Pastor Tim Champ of Troy Christian Church gave the invocation and breakfast, catered by Great Western Dining, was served.
The program began with a presentation by Teresa McAnerney, Facilitator of the Northeast Kansas Enterprise Facilitation (NEKEF) who informed guests about the nonprofit organization as well as provided details about the annual Doniphan County Community Foundation “Give Where You Live Day” event.
She then thanked Ag Partners, Bendena State Bank, Bank of Highland, Heinen Brothers Agra service, Smithton Lodge, ClearSky Health Rehabilitation, Rainbow Communications and all donors for their contributions to Give Where You Live Day 2021.
“The partners I named were our largest donors last year,” she said. “But we also received many other contributions and we wouldn’t have been able to match the donations for fifty cents on the dollar without all of them. This year, we’re hoping to match dollar-for-dollar.”
The award ceremony followed. First recipient Tim Franken, CPA of Liechti, Franken, Hilsabeck and Gawatz, LLC Certified Public Accountants, received the Lifetime Membership Award presented by Chamber Board Member Leah B. Johnson.
Chamber Vice President, Theresa Rohrer presented the Citizen of the Year Award to Special Olympian Tanner Hrenchir.
Doniphan West students Creighton Johnson and Emma Albers were this year’s scholarship recipients. Johnson, this year’s $500 winner, plans to major in mechanical engineering at Kansas State University. Albers, this year’s $1,000 winner, plans to major in Veterinary Nursing at Colby Community College. Those awards were presented by Theresa Rohrer and Scholarship Committee Member, Joyce Simpson.
Business Awards were presented by Marty Allen, Jim Faunce and Leah B. Johnson to the following new businesses: Sew Believable, Dreamy Designs, Doniphan Nutrition, Star 36 Diner and Alexis Studer Photography, all located in Wathena and Queen Bee Customs, APEX Crop Solutions and Doniphan Darlings all located in Highland. Home and Company in Wathena received the Business Expansion award. Capital Investment awards went to River Bend Ag Services in Wathena and Heinen Brothers Agra Service and Ag Partners located countywide.
Milestone awards were presented to D.C. Drug in Troy (5 years), Miller Trash Service in Troy (15 years), Back to Health in Wathena (20 years), Chapel Oaks Funeral Home in Highland (25 years), Library District #1 Doniphan County, countywide (50 years), Doniphan County Abstract in Troy (70 years) and Kansas Chief Publishing in Wathena (165 years).
Pete Duncan was awarded the True Historian Award, presented by Doniphan County Historical Society member, Larry Faulkner.
Next, Colonel John and Dr. Heather Cluck believed they were in attendance that day to support the other spouse. The husband and wife team was surprised when they found out both of them were awardees of the Jack R. Euler True Leadership Award, presented by Teresa McAnerney.
Last, but certainly not least, the Quiet Hero Award was presented by Theresa Rohrer. Recipient Wilma Williams was unable to attend the ceremony. Her family accepted the award on her behalf.
The program ended with closing announcements including the upcoming Chamber Golf Tournament to be held Sept. 9 at 8:30 a.m. at the Bellevue Country Club in Atchison, Kansas and the Chamber Christmas Mixer to be held Dec. 2 at the Wildflower Event Venue in Troy, Kansas.
To watch the entire event, please view the video on Rainbow Communications website at www.rainbowlive.net/community.
Doniphan County Chamber of Commerce New Business & Ribbon Cuttings:
Back row L to R: Mike Twombly and Curtis Albers of APEX Crop Solutions in Highland; Zach and Erika Jenkins of Queen Bee Customs in Highland
Front row L to R: Malissa Owen, Program Director for Doniphan Darlings in Highland; Rachel Baxter of Doniphan Nutrition in Wathena; Annie Jensen of Dreamy Designs in Wathena
Doniphan County Chamber of Commerce Quiet Hero 2022: Wilma Williams
L to R: Chamber Vice President, Theresa Rohrer and Wilma Williams
Family of Quiet Hero, Wilma Williams L to R: Darrin & Traci Molt, Peggy & Rich Simmons and Steve & Pam Kostman with Doniphan County Chamber Vice President, Theresa Rohrer.
This year’s Quiet Hero voice is one that everyone recognizes and even though she can no longer hear your voice physically, she continues to share her love of community in many, many ways.
The community first heard her voice as a telephone operator in Troy, serving for 17 years until “dial” came to town. From that office, she moved across the street to the Courthouse working in the Engineer’s office until community members encouraged her to run for office. Elected Doniphan County Clerk in 1964, she served until she was needed at home to care for her husband in 1990. Her long-tenured service as clerk was recognized by the Kansas House of Representatives in House Resolution #6110 that year. She felt it was an honor to serve and was known to say that the office belonged to and she worked for, the people of Doniphan County.
Our Quiet Hero is a member of many civic and community groups including the Stroke Club, Order of the Eastern Star, Wathena Boat Club, and many others. She was and is always ready and willing to help. Her award says it all. “Let Love Guide Your Life.”
Beginning in 2006, Wilma began doing visits with gift baskets in hand to all the area care centers and making sure to send cards between her visits. When the pandemic struck and she couldn’t visit in person, she wanted the residents to know that they were loved and not forgotten and that God had a purpose for their life.
As the card queen, she kept the mailman busy with Holiday, Birthday, Anniversary, Get Well, and Thinking of You cards not only to nursing home residents but the community as well. Her heart could feel when someone needed a hug, a pat on the back, or simply a smile.
Our Quiet hero’s love of community shows through in her motto “Once a Trojan, Always a Trojan!” She has been snapping and gifting photos at the Troy Alumni Banquet for more years than even she can remember.
She was and continues to be very active in her church, Troy Christian. Her church community is her family and she takes her job as an “unofficial greeter” very seriously. She may no longer be able to hear your words but her fist bumps and hugs continue to communicate the shared love.
Our Quiet Hero has one daughter, three grandchildren, and 5 great-grandchildren. but an entire community she calls family. Her daughter writes “Mom’s hearing may have been taken away, but her love of people continues. She loves to connect with people and that brings her Joy and Happiness”. The Joy and Happiness she has brought through the years across Doniphan County are immeasurable.
Our 2022 Quiet Hero is Wilma Williams.
Doniphan County Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the Year: Tanner Hrenchir
L to R: Wanda, Tanner, and Jerry Hrenchir. L to R: Tanner Hrenchir and Chamber President Mary Allen
Our citizen of the year recently brought home 4 medals from the National Special Olympics.
He won the gold medal in the Deadlift event lifting 259 pounds, the silver medal in the squat event lifting 231 pounds, and the bronze medal in the bench press event lifting 137 pounds. He also brought home the silver medal in the Triple Combo event which was a total of 418 pounds.
He has participated in powerlifting for 6 years, but he has been a Special Olympian for the past 31 years competing in track, basketball, football, baseball, and bowling.
He has worked at Hy-Vee for over ten years and in his spare time, likes to help his Dad put up hay.
It was recently announced that this young man will be inducted into the St. Joseph Area Sports Hall of Fame later this year.
Our 2022 Citizen of the Year is Tanner Hrenchir, Special Olympian.
Doniphan County Chamber of Commerce $500 scholarship recipient, Creighton Johnson.
L to R: Chamber Vice President, Theresa Rohrer and Creighton Johnson.
Creighton graduated from Doniphan West last May and plans to begin his journey this fall at Kansas State University to receive a Mechanical Engineering Degree.
L to R: David, Creighton, and Carla Johnson. Creighton graduated from Doniphan West last May and plans to begin his journey this fall at Kansas State University to receive a Mechanical Engineering Degree.
Doniphan County Chamber of Commerce $1,000 scholarship recipient, Emma Albers.
L to R: Chamber Vice President, Theresa Rohrer, and Emma Albers. Emma graduated from Doniphan West last May and plans to begin her journey this fall at Colby Community College to receive her Veterinary Nursing Degree.
L to R: Sara, Emma and Jeff Albers. Emma graduated from Doniphan West last May and plans to begin her journey this fall at Colby Community College to receive her Veterinary Nursing Degree.
Doniphan County Chamber of Commerce 2022 True Heroes, Colonel John and Dr. Heather Cluck.
L to R: Heather Cluck, Theresa Rohrer and John Cluck.
“It is everyone’s responsibility to leave this world just a little better than we found it.”
This quote from one member of this year’s 2022 Jack R. Euler True Leader Award, exemplifies the work and dedication of this couple. Their professional lives benefit our community beyond measure, yet is it their community spirit that makes them “soar above the rest.”
As the brains and muscles behind the Wathena Fall Festival, Dr. Heather Cluck and Colonel Cluck have built a community team that has run the festival for over 10 years. The organization and logistics of this undertaking are skills they have honed together over the past twenty years in business in the County.
Professionally, they were or are involved in 7 area businesses, including current Back to Health, Wathena Car Wash, Cluck Properties, Wathena Storage, and Back to Fitness. As a graduate of Cleveland Chiropractic College, Dr. Heather operates three businesses, and practices at both Wathena and Savannah clinics. She also serves on the Mosaic Foundation board, currently over nine years. Colonel John oversees operations of two businesses as well as having served as commander of the 180th Air Squadron and currently Wing Commander of the 139th Operations at Rosecrans. In addition, he is a pilot for Southwest Airlines, serving since 2008 and is currently a Captain.
Colonel John has served on the Wathena City Council from 2009 to 2012 and currently serving as mayor since 2019. He is a member of the American Legion, Masonic Lodge, founding member of Wathena Pride and Wathena Lions Club, and Board of Directors of DCSW, serving as president. John is a past member of the Wathena Volunteer Fire Department and ambulance driver.
As active members of the First Baptist Church in Wathena, this couple is involved in all things community. Dr. Heather teaches Sunday School, volunteers at W.I.N. (Wednesday Impact Night)
Community Youth Outreach, and Vacation Bible School. This couple believes in healthy minds and active bodies with Heather coaching youth baseball and softball.
The Clucks are avid supporters of all sports teams from the little league where their children play to County-wide teams and High school teams across the county.
Married for over 12 years, John and Heather are the parents of three children, Lincoln, age 9, and twins Piper and Archer, age 7.
Doniphan County Chamber of Commerce Business Expansion Awardee: Home and Company
L to R: Jill Hontz and Doniphan County Chamber of Commerce President, Marty Allen.
Doniphan County Chamber of Commerce Capital Investment Awardees:
River Bend Ag Services
L to R: Zach Emmendorfer and Brent Hickman of RiverBend Ag Services and Doniphan County Chamber of Commerce Board Member, Jim Faunce.
Heinen Brothers Agra Service
L to R: Brandon Geiger, Doniphan County Chamber of Commerce President, Marty Allen, and Glenn Heinen of Heinen Brothers Agra Service.
L to R: Nicholas Blevins of Ag Partners and Doniphan County Chamber of Commerce Board Member, Jim Faunce.
Doniphan County Chamber of Commerce Milestone Awardees
L to R: Daniel Glynn, Library District #1 Doniphan County, countywide (50 years); Cathy Grable, Doniphan County Abstract in Troy (70 years); Heather Cluck, Back to Health in Wathena (20 years); and Nicole McKittrick, D.C. Drug in Troy (5 years).
Awardees not pictured: Miller Trash Service in Troy (15 years), Chapel Oaks Funeral Home in Highland (25 years), and Kansas Chief Publishing in Wathena (165 years).
Doniphan County Chamber of Commerce 2022 True Historian: Pete Duncan
L to R: Larry Faulkner, Preston and Pete Duncan, and Chamber Board Member, Leah B. Johnson.
The 2022 True Historian, as told by Doniphan County Historical Society members Larry Faulkner and Corky Smith has put in countless hours of heart and labor into preserving Doniphan County’s history as well as sharing it with many tourists and fellow historians.
Just a few notable contributions our true historian has made include placing Pony Express Monuments and Oregon Trail markers throughout the county; partaking in the instigation of the Bellemont Landing, north of Wathena; and saving and restoring the Tennant-Baker House in Troy dedicating almost every weekend for over 5 years to the project.
“I met this man in 2015 when I came to Doniphan County looking to know more about Abraham Lincoln. I found Pete Duncan. Oh, what a treasure.” – Larry Faulkner
Our 2022 True Historian is Pete Duncan, Doniphan County Historian.
THANK YOU TO ALL WHO ATTENDED!