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Community Awards announced
Community Awards Citizens
2018 Citizens of the Year Trudie Freymiller and Keith Novinska - photo by Barb Romberg

Fennimore Area Chamber of Commerce presented their annual Community Awards on Tuesday, July 10 during their Chicken BBQ fundraiser. Recognition recipients for 2018 are:

2018 Citizens of the Year – Trudie Freymiller and Keith Novinska

Trudy Freymiller has been an exceptional member of the community for as long as most of us can remember. Recently retired after a 30-year career as Librarian of Dwight Parker Library. For three decades Trudie helped countless people with her great customer service and library resources but most importantly with her knowledge of Fennimore’s residents and history of the community. Many times when Trudie was stumped with a question or needed some information, the answer was “call Trudie, I bet she knows” and sure enough, she was able to help.

Away from the daily ins-and-outs of her work, Trudie has been deeply involved in our community. She has helped out and supported many, many local events, fundraisers, support groups; been involved for years playing piano at church and other events; and even with this very Community Awards committee, for many years volunteering her time and expertise with our group. Whenever we would get stumped or have a tough decision to make, we could always count on Trudie to help make a decision – and it always seemed to be the right on.

Her nominator summed it up so well “Trudie is a friend to all, dedicated to her family, friends, neighbors, church and her community.”

Keith Novinska (and his wife Ann) are Fennimore through and through, both being born and raised here and raising their own family here. Keith is a vital part of our community, running a business for many years, participating in various ways with community organizations and events and projects supporting the community by being available just about any time help was needed. Keith also served on the Fennimore Fire Dept. and is a veteran of the US Army. Keith is always there when a family member, friend or neighbor has a need and is ready to go above and beyond to fill that need. His cheerful, willing attitude makes accepting his help very easy.

Keith has volunteered over a number of years to help with just about any need at the Fennimore Doll & Toy Museum-including building shelves and displays to showcase the many great collections of the museum. He’s replaced glass, painted walls, move some of the heavier items, fixed lights and most recently repaired some water damage. Keith is the kind of volunteer that sees what needs to be done and takes it upon himself to complete the task. All this is volunteering is in addition to Keith’s current job is mowing lawn and regular duties at the cemetery but he always makes time to volunteer to assist others with a need.

His nominators wrote: “He is a true treasure- a jack of all trades and a most valuable asset to the museum, to his family and to our community.”

2018 Business of the Year – Brechler-Lendosky Group, LLC

Steve and Brandee Lendosky and Dennis and Sarah Lendosky

When you drive through any small town, you look around at the local businesses to get a feel for what type of community you are in, what do they have to offer. Each town has their own list, offering a variety of services. Some have just started, some have moved on, and some seem to have always been there. A bedrock or cornerstone of the community, a place where people have placed their trust for generations because the business has earned repeat customers, shown great service and been there for the community through good times and not so good times.

Brechler-Lendosky Group is a 4th generation family owned and operated Independent Insurance Agency, which has been part of the Fennimore business community since 1929. They are licensed in the states of Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota, Michigan, Indiana and Arizona.

2018 Family of the Year – Bill and Brenda Wood Family

When we think of those families that are the cornerstone of our community, the ones who are always there when a need arises or you get in a pinch and you need an answer or a helping hand, the Bill & Brenda Wood family is right there at the top of the list. They proudly ran Fennimore Lumber for many, many years and still have the Design center available. Their customer service was exceptional and their advice and expertise in all things construction and home improvement were second to none living up to their motto: Proud Tradition. However, the part that always stands out is their dedication to their family and their community.

Bill and Brenda and their sons Jesse and Ben (and their families) are just the type of people you would want to build a community around. They are heavily involved in volunteering their time, generous with financial support, and always willing to lend a hand when the physical work needs done. They have been involved in serving on several local and national organizations like the Chamber of Commerce, St. Peter’s church, Fennimore Industrial and Economic Development Corp, national lumbermen’s association, Fennimore area Health Services Board,
Fennimore Area Foundation just to name a few.

This dedication to service and community has also been passed on to their sons Jesse and Ben, who, along with their own families, live and work right here. They also are heavily involved in our community, volunteering on boards and service groups as well as their churches.

It is with great pleasure that we honor the Bill & Brenda Wood Family as our 2018 Family of the Year!

Organization of the Year – The Fennimore Fire Department

The City of Fennimore and its surrounding communities have been blessed to have an active and dedicated Volunteer Fire Department for many, many years. They are always there when needed, sacrificing and devoting their personal time to protect and serve all of us.

But in 2018 these dedicated volunteers have went above and beyond the call of duty. In addition to the round the clock fire calls and the monthly meetings and drills, I witnessed this group pull together to hold what has to be one of the largest and most successful fundraising events ever held in our community for a family in need. It was amazing watching them plan the event, but even more amazing to see the end result that evening.

Shortly after this event ended, once again this group stepped forward to host the Nations of Patriot Ride. This also required countless hours of preparation and planning and again, we had an event held in our community in which we could all be proud of.

And after those events taking place in a 30 day period…. they once again held a successful annual Fireman’s steak feed, serving over 500 steak dinners.

Thank you to each and every one of you for your devotion to our Fire Department and our Community.