State Rep Bill Field receiving a special award at the Chamber of Commerce Dinner Thursday night

Peru, IN - Thursday night the Chamber of Commerce held their Annual Dinner & Recognition Night at Milestone Event Center. Sandy Chittum, President of the Miami County Chamber of Commerce, remarked that this was the most attended night she had seen thus far. It was a packed house, with no empty seats to be found. A spectacular commentary on those that are investing in our community and its people.

Several Guests of Honor were in attendance including State Representative Bill Friend, County Council Members Ethan Manning and Ralph Duckwall II, Indiana State Senator Randy Head, Miami County Prosecutor Bruce Embrey, and many others.

Many local businesses and vendors were on hand including Ron Short with Blair Ridge, Denise Yater from Club 14, and Patrick Redman from Smiley Face Chocolate, and many others.

Attendees were able to sample some new foods, as well as some old favorites, with many people commenting that the Beef Stroganoff from The Windmill Grill was outstanding!

Music was provided by Mize’s DJ Service who played lots of great tunes and music videos for entertainment.

The highlight of the night was the Community of Character Pillar Award that was presented to Heidi Wright. She has given so much to our community, and it was wonderful to see her recognized for those contributions. It was truly a surprise to her, and through happy tears, she explained that she had actually nominated someone else for that award. After hearing her speech there is no doubt that Ms. Wright left feeling humbled and questioning if she deserved it. But this woman is involved in almost everything in our community and is most deserving of this honor.

This dinner gave the community an opportunity to recognize and thank two community leaders who are retiring at the end of the year. Listening to State Representative Bill Friend was bittersweet, and the audience could tell how much his service has meant to him. Friend was introduced by the man who hopes to replace him in the State House, Ethan Manning. Friend talked about this being his last year, and even though he is ready to retire, it’s with a sad heart he will miss all the people, and all the great opportunities to help people in our community. Miami County Prosecutor Bruce Embrey, who is also retiring this year, stated that he only has 66 days left and reflected on his years of service.

Paul Foreman was also recognized for his contributions as Citizen of the Year. He gave a very interesting speech about goldfish. Inspiring people to reach out and grow some goldfish into some big koi.

The 2018 Award Winners are:

Above & Beyond Recognition: Circus City Festival
Above & Beyond Recognition: Miami County 4-H
Business of the year: Miami County Farm Bureau & Insurance
Community Involvement: St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church
Community of Character Pillar Award: Heidi Wright
Woman of the Year: Susan Morris
Citizen of the Year: Paul Foreman
Special Recognition: State Representative Bill Friend