Roar Into 2020: Annual Dinner Showcases a Year of Success

Over 180 attendees, including many 1920’s attired ladies and gents, were greeted by American State Bank Employees and a table full of favors, as they filed into the Lakeside Conference Center for the Annual Dinner, January 28th. This night is a special time for showcasing Osceola’s growth, accomplishments, community spirit and all the possibilities Clarke County has to offer. Photographer, Helen DeVos kept two cameras busy as she continually snapped photos throughout the festivities, including fun photo-booth and props hosted by 1st National Bank.

From 5:00-6:00PM, people mingled and viewed several business and organization displays. New Businesses: Revelton Distillery Company, Community Health Centers of Southern Iowa, and SalonRED Boutique and Day Spa. Other business displays included Great Western Bank, Clarke County Hospital and Clinic, Timber Ridge Country Market, Chiropractic 1st, KSOI and the Clarke Area Arts Council.

Bill Trickey and Elizabeth Simpson of the CCDC arranged a slide show and several easels with photos of all the new business development, projects underway and concept plans for new ventures in Osceola.  

At 6:00 PM, Chamber-Main Street Past-President, Karon Keefe, welcomed the crowd followed by the invocation by Emcee and Pastor, Chuck DeVos of LifePoint Assembly of God, who gave the invocation.

After the buffet meal, Clarke County Development Corporation Director, Bill Trickey, gave an overview of their accomplishments and goals, followed by the annual Directors Award presented to The Village Early Childhood Center by board member, Amy Lampe.

Chamber Main-Street Executive Director, Ashleigh Eckels, focused on the action-packed schedule of events and thanked all the business partners, volunteers and committees behind everything Chamber-Main Street accomplishes.

2019 in Numbers

·         Twelve events with over 10,000 event attendees

·         30+ volunteers and 1, 114 hours of service

·         Promoted over 130 community events via website, radio ads, Monday Morning Update e-newsletter, table tents, Osceola Living, and Southern Iowa Tourism tabloid

·         Coordinated 11 ribbon cuttings with the Governor in attendance for two

·         Mayberry’s Coffee House & Eatery received $8,000 through Main Street Iowa’s “Open 4 Business” Grant.

·         One new event: “Coffee Connections,” the second Thursday of each month, hosted by Osceola businesses or Chamber-Main Street.

One big announcement: Osceola will host a Museum on Main Street: Smithsonian Traveling Museum: Voices and Votes-Democracy in America exhibit and activities from October 10th-November 22nd 2020.

Following the summary of events, Ashleigh presented Board President, Karon Keefe, with a clock in appreciation of her commitment to OCMS and her countless hours of volunteering.

Sponsor Recognition: 

Premier Sponsor- American State Bank; Silver Sponsors: 1st National Bank, Hunsicker and Associates, Osceola Foods, Saylor Realty, LLC, Great Western Bank and Clarke County Hospital and Clinics and Event Supporters: Southwestern Community College and Miller Products.


Community Service Award 2020: Helen Kimes

The Annual Dinner traditionally culminates with the announcement of the Community Service Award. Chuck DeVos read the nomination letter submitted by several co-workers and friends of Helen Kimes.  The letter outlined Helen’s dedication to the betterment of Osceola and Clarke County as well as her random acts of kindness. Helen is the owner of Saylor Realty, LLC and has been in business for over 40 years.

Although she is a well-known businesswoman, her resume includes a variety of memberships and boards. She is a supportive member of Chamber-Main Street and the Methodist Church and has been appointed to a variety of state commissions and boards: Real Estate Commission, Landscape Architect Board, Methodist Camp Advisory Board and Judicial Nominating Commission.

Helen has served two, non-consecutive terms as a board member of the Clarke Community Development Corporation and helped to attract major businesses such as Lakeside Casino, Altec, and Iowa Steel to Osceola. Additionally, she helped locate the new nursing home and assisted living facilities.

Attracting new businesses requires enhancing/upgrading infrastructure. Helen championed the reservoir project for Clarke County, obtained grant funding for the “Safe Routes to School” sidewalk initiative and promoted expansion of the Osceola Trail system.

The letter concluded, “Helen never loses sight of the everyday needs of the people around her and often commits ‘random acts of kindness’ without any thought of taking credit for her deeds.”

Congratulations to Helen Kimes, the winner of the Community Service Award!


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