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Friday, May 6, 2016

Ron Overeem receives top Chamber award

Friday, March 9, 2012

Ron Overeem, at left, accepted the Monett Chamber of Commerce's highest honor, the Community Service Award, at the annual chamber membership meeting, presented by Linda Schelin, at right. [Times Photo by Murray Bishoff]
Ron Overeem received the Monett Chamber of Commerce's top prize, the Community Service Award, and the Monett Area Community Foundation earned the Pride and Progress Award.

Presentations were made during the chamber's annual membership meeting at the Southwest Area Career on Thursday.

Overeem, a former Monett City Council member, was recognized for activity on many levels. After retiring from the Gas Service Company following a 34-year career, Overeem served as a city commissioner from 2000 to 2004. During that tenure, he served as parks commissioner. In that role, Overeem was instrumental in establishing a partnership between the city and the chamber for the Festival of Lights.

The Monett Area Community Foundation was honored with the chamber's Pride and Progress Award. The foundation's two board presidents over 14 years, Patti Holt and Mark Nelson, accepted framed resolutions from the Missouri House and Senate presented by State Representatives David Sater and Don Ruzicka. [Times Photo by Murray Bishoff]
When the Monett/Purdy affiliate of Habitat for Humanity organized, Overeem became active from the outset. He served eight years on the board, taking on the duties of both the president and the vice president. He was involved in the completion of five Habitat houses, serving as construction supervisor on one home, volunteer coordinator on three homes and supply chairman on all five.

"He has brought expertise, experience, enthusiasm and excitement to this service program and he willingly continues to be involved," stated one of the nominations made on Overeem's behalf.

Overeem also worked as a realtor for Century 21 for seven years. He served four terms as an elder at First Presbyterian Church as well as taking on the duties of chairman for the church property committee. Overeem became personally active in making a number of remodeling and building improvements at the church.

He also planned and organized a seven-day trip to New Orleans, La., after Hurricane Katrina. His group helped to clean out the interior of homes in preparation for renovation. Overeem has also been an active member of the Monett Kiwanis Club since 1982.

"Ron is one of those who makes no excuses. He just does." read another nomination. "Most of the time he doesn't have to be asked to do something, because he is already on it."

Overeem's honor was announced by Linda Schelin, the first president of the Monett/Purdy Habitat affiliate.

In accepting the award, Overeem said, "Monett is the finest community in the state of Missouri. I used to live in Kansas, and I'm so glad I left."

Overeem received a standing ovation from the audience. State Representatives David Sater and Don Ruzicka presented him with resolutions in his honor passed by the Missouri Senate and House of Representatives.

"I was humbled," Overeem later told The Times. "It's nice to be recognized."

The Monett Area Community Foundation received the Pride and Progress Award. Patti Holt, the first president of the organization's board, made the announcement. Mark Nelson, the current board president, came forward to accept the award and asked other board members present to stand. They received a round of applause from the audience.

"Monett is such a giving community, and the foundation provides a way of giving back," said Nelson.

Those currently serving on the board include Mark Nelson, Mike Brownsberger, Doug Childress, Phyllis Garrett, Mike Gollhofer, Gale Huffmaster, Suzette Huntress, John Jungmann, Mark Kaiser, Jane Rogers, Jeff Scott, Robin Walker and Don Weber.

Organized in 1998, the Monett Community Foundation operates under the umbrella of the Community Foundation of the Ozarks. The non-profit organization offers a structure for managing charitable giving and awarding grants and scholarships. Money managers with the Community Foundation of the Ozarks have grown endowments and established funds to operate in perpetuity.

Total assets presently handled by the Monett Community Foundation exceed $1.2 million. Nelson said that since the local foundation organized, gifts and grants of more than $1 million have been given back to the community, a significant impact in a 14-year period.

Grants have supported major programs, such as the Monett R-1 School District, the Monett Area YMCA and the Barry-Lawrence Regional Library, as well as assisting the city's Fourth of July celebration and memorial scholarships. Presently 40 separate funds are managed by the Monett Community Foundation.

Nelson and Holt accepted framed resolutions from the Missouri House and Senate, presented by Sater and Ruzicka.

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