The Platteville Regional Chamber held its 52nd annual Celebration and Art Virtue Awards in the UW–Platteville Ullsvik Hall Velzy Commons Friday night.
Recognition was given to chamber members having five, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35, 40, 45 and 50 years of consecutive membership, as well as the 25 charter members of the Chamber.
The annual Virtue Awards, named for Art Virtue, the Chamber’s first president in 1963:
Certificate of Commendation: The UW–Platteville Pioneer Academic Center for Community Engagement is a transformative initiative for the campus-wide coordination, integration, and leadership of community-based scholarship of engagement on the UW-Platteville campus, and a funding source for scholarship of engagement projects and internships. The PACCE program combines the Pioneer Engagement Scholars, which provides up to $500 per student to offset student costs for a Scholarship of Engagement project, and Engagement Internship, which provides funding for student salary for those situations where an employer does not have the capability to pay the cost of an intern salary. PACCE hosts a semi-annual Engagement Poster Day that is designed to fulfill the dissemination requirement of the students’ Engagement Scholarship project. They also host faculty development workshops and networking events throughout the academic year.
Junior Community Spirit Award: The UW–Platteville Delta Sigma Phi Fraternity partnered with the Jaycees Haunted House last Halloween, helps the Optimist Club by selling popcorn at the UW–Platteville Homecoming parade, has been involved with the Red Cross for more than 20 years in on-campus blood drives, has worked with the UW–Platteville Sexual Assault Awareness Council, and has worked with the St. Augustine University Parish OctoberFest. Delta Sigma Phi helps put up and take down holiday lights in Katie’s Garden and has participated in the annual Katie’s Garden cleanup. Members worked with the Veterans Honor Roll Committee to help prepare for the Veterans Honor Roll Dedication in 2011 and 2012. Delta Sigma Phi hosts the annual “Delta Fest,” an all-out all-day charity music festival held at the fraternity, with all money raised donated to the Red Cross.
Community Spirit Award: Wisconsin Badger Camp began as Southwest Badger Camp, founded in 1966 to give individuals with developmental disabilities the same summer camp opportunities other children received. To date, Wisconsin Badger Camp has provided camp experiences to more than 30,000 individuals — children from the beginning, and adults since 1975 — with developmental disabilities. Improvements over the years include dorms, a craft recreation center, swimming pool, kitchen expansion, nature center, bathrooms, a trailer grill, staff lodging, and a music pavilion, along with additional programming. Many Platteville-area businesses participated in fundraisers to maintain the Camp and provide camper scholarships and programming. They have been members of the Platteville Regional Chamber since 1994. UW–Platteville held 42 Badger Camp telethons, the last in December.
Community Service Award: Mike Myers chaired the Vietnam Moving Wall committee for its visit to Platteville over the Independence Day weekend in 2009. Myers then led the Veterans Honor Roll Committee, which created and sought funding for the Veterans Honor Roll, which was dedicated in City Park July 4, 2012. The committee reorganized to the Veterans Honor Roll Association, which Myers is chairing. Myers is a Meals on Wheels volunteer. He serves on the city Police and Fire Commission and the Pioneer Sports Boosters board, and is a former board member of the Platteville Community Arboretum. He was part of the group that traveled to Denver to present Platteville for the 2013 All America City Awards, leading the veterans projects presentation. He is a member of the Elks Lodge, American Legion Post 42, and VFW Post 5274.
President’s Award for Outstanding Chamber Service: Jaime Collins took the lead on the process that rebranded the former Platteville Area Chamber of Commerce as the Platteville Regional Chamber, focusing on the chamber’s three pillars — promotion, education and tourism — to streamline what the chamber does and how the chamber does it. He developed the chamber’s new logo and created a new format for the chamber newsletter. He is spearheading UNITE, Unified Neighbors Improving Their Environment, a collaborative community effort to improve the Platteville quality of life.
Outstanding Award in the Field of Agriculture: The UW–Platteville Pioneer Farm has been an integral part of UW–Platteville since agriculture became an academic program in the early 1900s, and the School of Agriculture was created in 1914. The focus is on providing quality education, research, and outreach opportunities while promoting the agricultural industry. UW–Platteville Pioneer Farm supports the vitality of Wisconsin agriculture, providing on-farm experiences for students, conducting applied research, and disseminating information about agricultural practices and the environment to students, agencies, producers, and the public. The philosophy of Pioneer Farm has always been to provide real life situations for UWP students. Pioneer Farm hires students to assist with the day-to-day operations in the dairy, swine, beef, bull-test and agronomy areas. Student employees are required to assist with harvest, manure management, feed preparation, general animal care, as well as upkeep and maintenance of Pioneer Farm. The Pioneer Farm moved from campus to its current location south of Platteville in 1957.
Business Persons of the Year: Bruce and Caroline Kroll and Dick and Judy Adams purchased Culver’s on Business 151 from the original owners, Tom and Karen Heiser and Mike and Pam Scott, in 1996. The Krolls and the Adamses have supported numerous community programs in the city and on campus, including a donation to the chamber in 2009 for its renovation project to become a Travel Wisconsin Welcome Center. After Culver’s November 2013 fire, the Krolls and the Adamses rebuilt Culver’s in a $1.8 million renovation project, using local contractors where possible, and paying employees while the store was closed, using their own funds when insurance money was depleted, only asking employees to volunteer in the community while the store was closed. The store reopened June 16, the day Platteville was hit by two tornadoes.
Lifetime Service Award: Paul Budden worked for the City of Platteville Street Department for 17 years, working his way up to superintendent before retiring in 2013. He helped the chamber by getting the holiday decorations up on Main Street, helping close off streets for our events, or assisting the chamber to put up its new flag pole. Budden served in the Wisconsin Army National Guard’s 229th Engineering Co. from 1970 to 1993, and served in Operation Desert Storm for six months. He joined the Platteville Fire Department in 1978, retiring in 2006 after 27 years of service, including as an engineer, captain and assistant chief. He was named the Firefighter of the Year in 1992. He was one of the founders of Platteville’s Citizens Academy, and served on the Board of Directors. He has been the chamber Santa for many years. Budden was part of the committee who brought the Vietnam Moving Wall to Platteville in 2009, helping organize the All Veterans Parade; he then became part of the Veterans Honor Roll Committee, which raised funds, oversaw a design and historic dedication of the Veterans Honor Roll July 4, 2012. He is now vice chair of the Veterans Honor Roll Association. He was part of the Platteville contingent that traveled to Denver in 2013 to make a presentation when Platteville was a finalist for the All American City Award. He is a member and former commander of American Legion Post 42. He was part of the group that repaired more than 245 headstones in Hillside Cemetery after the June 16 tornado.
Outgoing board members Collins and Tom Sigwarth were honored, as was outgoing president Aaron Cullen.