The Boone County Chamber of Commerce hosted its annual awards banquet Thursday night, Nov. 14, in the Witham Pavilion at the Boone County 4-H Fairgrounds.

This year’s theme was Pathways to Progress, and much of the program centered on Boone County’s trail system.

“Tonight we are celebrating the fact that we are physically connected by the Big 4 Trail,” Ray Cortopassi, master of ceremonies, said.

Maxxis USA donated bicycle tires to be used as decor on the tables to enhance the theme. Shoup’s Country Foods catered the event with dessert from My Sugar Pie and Donaldson’s Chocolates.

A video showed the progression of the Big 4 Trail throughout Boone County. Members of the community were then honored.

The Lebanon Rotary Emergency Provider of the Year was given to Mike Fleming, a paramedic at Witham Health Services, and presented by Dr. Ray Ingham of Witham Health Services. Ingham recalled when Fleming saved Lloyd Hayden’s life in a combine accident last year.

Hayden later received the Agriculture Professional of the Year award, which was presented by Kendra Chastain of The Farmers Bank. Chastain spoke of how the accident has not held him back.

The Healthcare Provider of the Year was given to Dr. Zsolt Takacs, family practice physician at Witham, and presented by Dr. Justin Wright of Witham Health Services.

The Richard G. Brown Memorial Law Enforcement Officer of the Year was given to Boone County Sheriff’s Capt. Jeff Keller and presented by Gus Pearcy of The Lebanon Reporter.

Educator of the Year awards recognized one teacher from each of the three school districts. Aimee Collins, a teacher at Thorntown Elementary, won the award for the second time for Western Boone schools; Megan Bushman, a teacher at Perry-Worth Elementary, won for Lebanon schools; and Liz Lauer-Jones, a former teacher for Zionsville schools, was unable to attend to accept her award.

The Hometown Community Service Award was given to Ron Ebert and presented by Dan Fry of Home National Bank.

The Children’s Champion Award was given to CASA Director Becky McClure, and presented by Kassie Frazier of the Boone County Child Protection Team.

At the end of the night, chamber awards voted on by chamber members were presented by Boone County Senior Services Executive Director Anita Bowen.

The Business Professional of the Year was Dan Mitchell, who was recognized for his volunteer work.

The Non-profit of the Year was the Boone County Boys and Girls Club.

The Business of the Year was The Farmers Bank.

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