The Chamber Annual Meeting is a time for socializing, raising funds for the chamber, celebrating successful projects and recognizing a few individuals with special awards.

The Sleepy Eye Chamber of Commerce Annual Meeting is a time for socializing, raising funds for the chamber, celebrating successful projects and recognizing a few individuals with special awards. This year’s annual meeting and dinner, with nearly 150 attendees, was held Saturday, Feb. 9 at the Event Center.

Jody Hansen, Miss Sleepy Eye, spoke about her year representing the community. She also conveyed a special message of appreciation for how the business community supports youth in Sleepy Eye — which she said makes coming back to Sleepy Eye after college something she and many other young people hope to do.

The featured speaker for the evening was Karlyn Armbruster, who shared the plans and progress on the Pix building, which she and her husband Adam purchased. Armbruster showed pictures of the work done on the marquee and construction inside the building. The Pix will be home to Sleepy Eye Coffee Company and Sleepy Eye Brewing Company. Armbruster said they are hopeful they’ll open for business later this summer, with the coffee shop likely to be first to open.

Three special awards were presented Saturday night. Mark Kober was presented with the Big Chief award, which recognizes the Chamber Ambassador who made the most appearances during the past year.

The Friend of Sleepy Eye Award went to Josie Rose in recognition of her work with the Sleepy Eye Food Shelf. Food shelf board member, Ann McCabe, presented the award. McCabe said Rose has served as president of the board for over 30 years and volunteers for all aspects of operating the food shelf, including food distribution on Mondays, volunteer coordination, food ordering, paper work and much more.

McCabe closed her remarks with: “We will never know for sure how many families have been helped, and how many children had a better, more nutritious meal because of all the time Josie has given. But we can say for certain, that Josie’s work has made Sleepy Eye a better place. She is truly deserving of this honor.”

Honored with the Shining Star Award was Tom Goetz, First Security Bank president. Kurk Kramer, emcee for the evening, mentioned Goetz’s successful effort to encourage financial support at the Sleepy Eye Medical Center’s Gala and also his recent project to provide U.S. flags to business places throughout town.