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Saturday, Apr. 30, 2016

Sharon Garrett, Bergers receive Chamber's top awards

Friday, March 26, 2010

Sharon Garrett, at left, received the Monett Chamber of Commerce's Community Service Award at the chamber's annual banquet last night. Debbie and Bob Berger, at right, received the Pride and Progress Award for establishing the first new coffee house downtown, Mocha Jo's, and thus providing a home for the new Monett youth center, The Den. [Times Photo by Murray Bishoff]
Sharon Garrett was named to receive the Monett Chamber of Commerce's highest honor, the Community Service Award, at last night's annual chamber banquet. Bob and Debbie Berger were tapped for the Pride and Progress Award for opening a coffee shop and making possible the new youth center, The Den.

Award presentations were part of an evening of festivities at the Southwest Area Career Center commons. Theme for the evening was "Bloom Where You Are Planted." Entertainment was provided by the Lennon Brothers and their sister Gail bringing their Branson show to Monett for the first time.

The Community Service Award recognizes service over a long period that has had a significant impact on the community. Clif Crockett, pastor at the First United Methodist Church, made the presentation to Garrett.

"It's my pleasure to present this award to a friend and parishioner, someone who has a heart for this community and its well being, someone who has created or championed many causes," Crockett said.

Garrett came to Monett in 1981, where she owns The Trunk. She was identified for her earlier leadership in driving for downtown renovations and was a charter member of the Downtown Betterment Committee. A two-time member of the chamber board, Garrett served as president. Crockett said Garrett had the dream behind the Festival of Lights drive-through Christmas display at South Park.

Garrett served for three years on the Missouri Tourism Commission. Garrett has helped support a wide range of organizations and service undertakings as co-owner of First State Bank with her husband, Glen, Garrett has also taken on a wide range of leadership roles at First United Methodist Church, including serving on the Board of Trustees and singing in the choir.

"I am deeply honored to receive this award," Garrett said.

Garrett credited helpers with getting accomplishments done where she has had a hand. She offered a special thank you to those who volunteer in the elf hut for the Festival of Lights, an undertaking that "makes people feel good," where they "go through and give whether they can afford to or not."

The Pride and Progress Award presentation was made by Adam Verstraete and Mary Lemings, two employees at WinTech, a company co-founded by the Bergers. As the presenters talked about the Bergers undertaking in opening a coffee and sandwich shop, a slide show was displayed tracking the renovation of 404 E. Broadway into Mocha Jo's and the upstairs into The Den youth center.

Lemings said both establishments had become fixtures in downtown Monett in a short period of time. The audience agreed in rising to their feet as the Bergers came to the stage to accept the award.

Accepting the award, Debbie Berger thanked her customers and her employees.

"Let's continue down Broadway Street," Debbie said.

Bob Berger said, "We appreciate all your support. We look forward to great things." Bob also asked the audience to recognize Shaun Bennett, who opened Denali Dreams as a second coffee shop last year as well and has led the Broadway Nights effort.

"It's nice to see cars on Broadway at night," Bob added.

Framed resolutions from both the Missouri Senate and the Missouri House of Representatives were presented to the winners by State Senator Jack Goodman and State Representatives David Sater, of Cassville, and Don Ruzicka, of Mt. Vernon.

During the evening chamber members voted on new members for the chamber board of directors. Incoming President Danny Vaughn announced the winners at the end of the evening: Walter Branch, Clif Crockett, Doug Childress, and Keith McCracken. Named as the two alternates were Israel Patino and Janell Patton.

Outgoing board members Mike Gollhofer, Mike Garrett and John Bruner were recognized for their service. Outgoing chamber President Lori Negre was absent due to emergency surgery. Executive Director Suzy McElmurry stepped in for Negre and expressed appreciation for the work of the outgoing board.

The Lennons sang classic American songs in tight harmonies in the style of popular groups in the 1940s and 1950s. Their acting on Johnny Mercer's "Jamboree Jones," patriotic sentiments shown in "Comin' in on a Wing and a Prayer," and natural stage presence, such as husband and wife Bill and Linda on the duo "Two Sleepy People," quickly won the crowd over.

Maggie Mae's Tea House catered the dinner. Students with the Southwest Area Career Center's Junior ROTC program helped serve the meal. Decorations prepared by table sponsors were given away at the end of the evening.

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