a night in disguise
Executive Director Lennie Shelton welcomes everyone to the Benton/West City area chamber of commerce 2022 annual dinner. We had an amazing evening at the Rend Lake College Event Center. It was an outstanding venue with over 200 guest attending. Everyone enjoyed the night with light instrumental Jazz music, spectacular food, and mixed cocktail drinks. The evening was filled with mingling laughter and unforgettable memories. It was a well deserved event honoring all of our Of The Year Nominees
Catering Provided By
Tuscan Salad, Baby Carrots, Country Style Green Beans, Herb Roasted Petite Whole Potatoes
Roasted Pork Loin or Breaded Breast of Chicken with Hollandaise Sauce
Dinner Rolls, Dessert Bar & Beverage Station.
As always Alan and his team did an outstanding job. They provided an over the top appetizer table, with an even better service table, and topped it off with a mouth watering dessert table. Alan did an amazing job and we couldn't thank him enough for the wonderful service provided.
Annual Dinner Committee
Chairman: Lauren Johnson
Heston Mays, Paula Arpasi, Thomas Arpasi, Cathy Gravalia, Melissa Walden,
Lee Messersmith, Austin Miller, and Lennie Shelton
THE GLUTEN THREE
The Gluten Three provided entertainment for the evening. A local group of very talented young men from Franklin County. Evan Arview playing lead guitar , Corbin Cox playing drums, Brockton Miller on keyboard and Aaron Romani playing bass. Several of these young men currently attend Rend Lake College. They provided instrumental Jazz music throughout the evening. Everyone was impressed with the level of talent and professionalism from the group. One person commented on the fact that they took a Disney song from The Little Mermaid and Jazzed it up. The group added the perfect touch to a beautiful evening.
2023 -"OF THE YEAR" Winners
cITIZEN OF THE YEAR
started Do Your Part Recycling in 2018 when our town lost it’s recycling bins. Do Your Part Recycling is a non-profit organization with a goal of keeping as much trash out of the landfill as possible. We help educate the community as we continue to grow.
When I started Do Your Part Recycling, we set up at the local Benton farmer’s market. Then moved to our permanent location at my family’s locally owned and operated grocery store.
I strive to help and educate our community on how to properly recycle anything/ everything. Our goal is to help the environment be a safer place for years to come, not just to provide a place for recycling. Do Your Part Recycling educates local groups, clubs, and schools about the important impact recycling can have on our planet. I have always felt that small changes add up. Like the saying goes
“Be the change you wish to see in the World”.
KEEP DOING YOUR PART!!!
BUSINESS OF THE YEAR
COUNTY SEAT ANTIQUE MALL
County Seat Antique Mall - County Seat Antique Mall has over 26,000 square feet of antiques, been in business for over 19 years! The Store has undergone some great changes over the past 4 years, adding a music room, antique furniture, and 60 vendor booths. We pull customers in from the tri-state area as well as resale dealers from all over the United States. We have a full staff that is available to help you with all your antique questions and needs. Owner Joe Sprague is an active member in the community and the Chamber of Commerce. He currently sits on the Executive Board for the Chamber and volunteers on several committees. Donates prizes and awards to the Car Show, Annual Dinner and is an active participant in the Rend Lake Water Festival. County Seat is always willing to keep their doors open late for local community events throughout the year. Host special viewings of local historic items and events.
EDUCATOR OF THE YEAR
Alisa Leffler’s teaching career began January 5, 1995, in Benton Consolidated District 47. For the past 27 and ½ school years, Alisa has taught General Music and Choir to thousands of students in Benton. Christmas programs, Concerts, Musicals, Music Contests and working as a vocal director in Pyramid Players has provided Alisa’s students with wonderful performance opportunities and memories year after year. Teaching today includes having the children of former students in class as well as working together with staff as former students. “This is a wonderful feeling of accomplishment and joy to work side by side with former students as we strive to teach the future generation.”
winners through the years
We are happy to honor the following individuals and business as our "Of The Year" winners . This community is full of amazing people who give so much to ensure a brighter future, and we are honored to recognize them. They join a long legacy of community support and citizenship.
View all past winners here...
2022 Event Images
CITIZEN OF THE YEAR:
BUSINESS OF THE YEAR:
County Seat Antique Mall
EDUCATOR OF THE YEAR:
Cork pull table
A special thanks to Lauren Johnson From FirstTrust Home Loans for providing the alcohol for the cork pull. Lauren has proudly served on the Board of Directors, and the Executive Board as president. Lauren is an active member of the Chamber of Commerce, serving on several committees and Chairing the Annual Dinner Committee.