Chesterton Tribune

Chamber honors dynamic women at summer awards

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By KEVIN NEVERS

Linda Ramsey, assistant vice-president and branch manager of the Chesterton Branch of Horizon Bank, is this year’s recipient of the Duneland Distinguished Woman award, presented to her by the Chesterton/Duneland Chamber of Commerce at its annual State of the Chamber luncheon on Wednesday at the Sand Creek Country Club.

Ramsey, a resident of Duneland for over 40 years, served on the Chamber’s Board of Directors from 2002 to 2007 and was on its Executive Committee, also serving for several years as treasurer. “What an amazing person she is,” said Jane Delligatti, who presented the award. “Linda was everywhere. If there was a community event, Linda was there. If the Chamber needed someone to serve on a committee or chair it, Linda stepped up. Linda volunteers, Linda helps, and Linda always smiles and is gracious.”

“I always have something to say,” Ramsey joked on accepting her award. “I’m never at a loss for words. But today I’m speechless. Mark it on your calendar. I can’t tell you how wonderful it’s been living in this community.”

Golden Achievement Award

Receiving this year’s edition of the Golden Achievement Award was Alice Perney, for her 31 years of service to the Meals on Wheels program.

“That’s 1,612 weeks, 50 meals a week, 80,000 meals,” calculated presenter Maribeth Coyne. “And she cooks at her church. Many have been fed because of her selflessness.”

“I have the most wonderful bunch of girls who work with me,” Perney said. “Otherwise I never would have been able to do this. People in town don’t realize how many need our help.”

Volunteers of the Year

There were two recipients on Wednesday of the Volunteer of the Year award: Janice Custer and Sue Edds.

“Our organization is very much about volunteers, people who just dive in and do the work,” said presenter Heather Ennis, executive director of the Chamber. “And these two woman have dived in over their heads. They were making a difference at the Chamber before I ever got here.”

Putting Duneland on the Map

The winner this year of the Putting Duneland on the Map award: Bonnie Trout, for her fabulous work in making the European Market a reality and a success. The idea came to her, noted presenter Jim Anton, president of the Chamber, in conversation which Trout had 14 years ago with a foreign exchange student living with her family.

The European Market has since become “a gathering place for people to come together,” Anton said, and to Trout goes all the credit for “getting the right mix of vendors and the high quality of product.”

New Construction

Finally, the Town of Chesterton received the New Construction award for “two really good things,” presenter Mary Fox said: raising the new municipal facility at 1490 Broadway—and incidentally making the place a one-stop shopping destination for town services—and for getting South Calumet Road paved in the teeth of a strike by Operating Engineers Local 150.

Town Council Member Sharon Darnell, D-4th, accepted the award on behalf of the town.

Posted 7/28/2011