Chamber celebrates service, success

New Market Chamber of Commerce Vice President Carol Palmer, presents the "Business of the Year" award to Dale and Tommy Heppner of The Old General Store. Henry Culvyhouse/Daily

NEW MARKET — More than 40 local business and community leaders gathered at the banquet hall of the Quality Inn in New Market this week to celebrate the town’s chamber of commerce award dinner.

The New Market Chamber of Commerce gave out three awards to local businesses and leaders for their success in the community and going above and beyond in volunteering for the chamber and community at large. The awards included “Outstanding Organization of the Year,” “Outstanding Citizen of the Year” and “Outstanding Business of the Year.”

The members of the chamber decide the awards through a secret ballot.

Before the awards were handed out, four members of the Schultz Theatre performed excerpts from “The Road to Appomattox,” which flips from the past to the present between the breaking up of the Union and the breaking up of a marriage in 2015.

Ron Smith, one of the directors of the play, said he was honored to have members of the theatre at the event.

New Market Chamber of Commerce Vice President Carol Palmer, left, presented the “Outstanding Citizen of the Year” award to Cathy Donald, right, owner of Valley Sports Connection. Henry Culvyhouse/Daily

“We appreciate all the support the chamber has given us, the Town Council and all of you who have given us support,” Smith said. “[We] depend on your support, not just financially, but your moral and emotional support as well.”

The awards were presented by chamber Vice President Carol Palmer. She who was filling in for President Velma Jordan, who could not attend due to illness. Palmer said the chamber is an important part of the community.

“Some of the things we have done this year include volunteering at the visitor center, we participated in the battle reenactments, we collaborated with the county and Strasburg chamber for the Route 11 Yard Crawl,” she said.

The “Outstanding Organization of the Year” award went to the New Market Library, which has an all-volunteer staff and is the only library in the county that is open seven days a week. Palmer said the library helps with improving literacy and education in the area, such as having the New Market Rebels read to children.

The “Outstanding Citizen of the Year” went to Cathy Donald, owner of Valley Sports Connection. Palmer said Donald’s service, as the president of the chamber, was key to promoting shop local days and heritage days in the town.

Chamber Vice President Carol Palmer, left, presents the “Outstanding Organization of the Year” award to Peggy Harkness, director of the New Market Library. Henry Culvyhouse/Daily

“Working with Cathy is a pleasure because when you know she says, ‘I’ll take care of that,’ you know she’ll take of it,” Palmer said.

The “Outstanding Business of the Year” went to The Old General Store. Palmer said the store, a candy and produce shop owned by Tommy and Dale Heppner, “brings back a lot of memory of when some of us were younger.”

She cited the Happners’ work ethic, with customer delivery and service, as well their promotion of shop local and heritage day as the reason for the award.

The following are the 2015 officers and board members of the chamber:

• Velma Jordan — President
• Carol Palmer — Vice President
• Cathy Wittig-Donald — Treasurer
• Terri Dent — Secretary
• Monty Ruckman
• Amy Proctor
• Tommy Heppner
• Dale Heppner
• Jessica Price
• Mary A. Smith
• Tom Constable

Contact staff writer Henry Culvyhouse at 540-465-5137 ext. 184, or hculvyhouse@nvdaily.com