On March 7th, 2024, the Mount Horeb Area Chamber of Commerce hosted its highly anticipated 6th Annual Awards Dinner at Martinson Hall at Buck & Honey's, where 130 esteemed guests gathered to celebrate the outstanding achievements of local businesses and individuals.
    Attendees were treated to an evening of live music by local musician and small business owner Corey Mathew Hart. Buck & Honey's, our Food and Drink Sponsor for the event, provided a delicious dinner and drinks menu.
    Kara Brandemuehl, the chamber's Board Chair, extended a warm welcome to the attendees and recognized board members, ambassadors, staff, and committee members, thanking them for their ongoing dedication to the chamber and the community.
    Rachel LaCasse-Ford, the chamber's President/CEO, delivered an annual review of the chamber’s strategic priorities, which include advocating for the business community; developing tourism and driving economic impact; and providing valuable services for our members. Her review included successful collaborations to solve community issues, such as the passing of the Mount Horeb Child Care Grant Program, as well as impressive numbers around website traffic, foot traffic, and overnight stays in the Mount Horeb community, and highlighted the marketing strategies that have effectively driven visitors to our community over the past year.
    The highlight of the evening was the presentation of the prestigious awards. Academy of Little Vikings was recognized as the 2024 Business of the Year. Steve Helwig, owner of Helwig Auto Clinic, recipient of the 2023 Business of the Year Award, presented the award to owners Brenda Fritz and Todd Fritz. They thanked the chamber for recognizing and celebrating child care as an important business in the Mount Horeb area. They also recognized their dedicated staff who selflessly serve the children of our community each day.
    Transitions at Home – West was recognized as the Non-profit of the Year for providing vital services to our senior citizens that allow them to age at home. The award was accepted by Jacob Rathke, administrator; it was presented by Destinee Udelhoven, executive director of the Driftless Historium, the 2023 recipient of the same award.
    Amy Kellesvig accepted the George Sievers Award, which recognizes individuals who are dedicated to the Mount Horeb community and who give back in many ways to make the community a better place. Amy Mertz, the 2023 recipient, presented the award.
    The event also featured a silent auction and a wine pull activity, sponsored by Small Town Wanderer and Heidi Kopras at Restaino Homes, which together brought in over $1,700 to support the chamber's mission. The chamber expressed heartfelt appreciation to all the generous donors who contributed to the success of the auction and wine pull.
    As the evening drew to a close, Joel Geissbuhler, the chamber board’s vice-chair, extended gratitude to all attendees, emphasizing the chamber's commitment to serving its members for generations to come.
    The chamber extends special thanks to its Trustee Members, whose support is instrumental in organizing events like the Annual Awards Dinner: Farmers Savings Bank, Miller & Son’s Supermarket, Upland Hills Health, Lake Ridge Bank, ATC, Village of Mount Horeb, MHTC, Tyrol Basin, and JG Development.
    For those eager to relive the memorable moments from the event, photos are available on the chamber's website at mounthorebchamber.com/annual-awards-dinner.
    About the Mount Horeb Area Chamber of Commerce
    Established in 1923, the Mount Horeb Area Chamber of Commerce remains committed to promoting the economic prosperity of its member businesses and enhancing Mount Horeb's reputation as a premier destination to live, work, and visit. For more information, please visit www.mounthorebchamber.com.