By Jennifer Manlove – THE VILLAGE REPORTER
On February 20th the MACC held their annual meeting and banquet at the Montpelier Moose Family Center. The evening started with a social hour, where appetizers were served to the guests and entertainment was provided by Jim Weber. Guests also had the opportunity to get involved with the 50/50 drawing and bid on gift baskets. Bill Priest was the Master of Ceremonies and provided the invocation. After dinner, Ms. Jeanette Hull (Board President) wanted to Thank Lori Eitniear (2013-V.P.) for her hard work and dedication. She also gave special recognition to Ms. Susie Osburn who has served at the Board President for the past three years. The 2014 Board of Directors was recognized. The members include: Jeanette Hull (President), Shelley Davis (1st Vice President), Chris Lee, Kandace Potts-Salaz, Trina Bobilya, Kelly Gray, Jennifer Koch, Jamison Grime, Pam Lucas, Kurt Roan, David Tilly, Gloria Osburn, Terry Buntain (Executive Director) and Student Representatives Jacob Leung and Jake Dewire.
The theme of the night was “Vacation Destination…Montpelier”. Often people forget what Montpelier has offered and what they still continue to offer. There are many community events to get involved in. The cruise-in nights, events offered by the Montpelier Fire Department, Maple Syrup days, The Senior Center, The Williams County Fair, The Montpelier Public Library, Williams County Veterans Building, The Parks and Recreation Department, The Garage Sales and Flea Markets, Antique Tractor Shows, Historical Society Events, Chamber Events and the school events. The community is needed to get involved and stay involved in order for these events to grow and continue to be successful.
Montpelier has a long tradition of holding Bean Days annually, and this year they will be held on July 18th and 19th. There are several changes to the event this year. One will be that the event is no longer supported solely by the Chamber. This year there will be a board that will seek out the funding and coordination for the event. Some of the goals the board has are to get the community more involved and bring back the tradition that Bean Days held in the past. The board wants the community to have pride in this event and the community as a whole. As with any event there are many challenges presented. Some of the challenges they are facing is sponsorship and help from the community. This is a big task and it can easily become overwhelming. Therefore, they are asking the community o get involved and help bring back tradition to Montpelier.
One of the big changes that we will see at Bean Days is the addition of Hot Air Balloons provided by Bob Scobee, Balloonmeister and owner of Fly High Ohio. Mr. Scobee is a veteran pilot for Fly Ohio Ballooning, and is planning on ten hot air balloons for Bean Days. Mr. Scobee will “oversee everything that has to do with the balloons themselves and anything involving aviation.” He will make the final call on whether the balloons will launch or not and will be in contact with the airport and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to make sure everything runs safely and smoothly. Balloons bring a huge visibility, and will attract those passing by. There are also plans to coordinate with other Balloon events to attract more people to the event.
Bean Days will continue with the Friday evening tradition of events in the downtown area. There are also plans to expand events in downtown and have more events taking place at the Fairgrounds. The Rotary Breakfast will be held, as well as the 5K and parade. The board is currently working on a website to be able to keep the public informed and gain involvement.
Ms. Sandra Gordon from the Parks and Recreation Department also spoke about the many ongoing activities that are happening in the community and those that have already taken place. This year is the 56th year for the Montpelier Pool. The Eagles has continued to generously provide the Making Waves program, which provides free swimming lessons. The pool and park rentals have continued, as well as the additional playground at Storrer Park. Voices from the Past was held this year, and brought out a nice crowd. Outdoor movies are still planned, as well as the Frostbite Film Festival. The Free Lunch Program in the summer has been successful. Last year 2000 lunches were served, and 8600 over the past four years. The community is once again encouraged to get involved with these events. Events are listed online with the Parks and Recreation or The Montpelier Public Library.
Ms. Rachel Sostoi closed out the evening by presenting the 2013 Outstanding Citizen Award to Mr. John Whitmer. Mr. Whitmer has been actively involved with the community. He was a memorable teacher and coach, as well as a bus driver. He has served at the Senior Center. He has worked as a teacher and Pastor at CCNO. He has given his time as a youth leader at St. Paul’s church. He has been the Director of the See and Do Club, overseeing the daily operations. He has also been involved in two Hurricane Katrina Clean Up efforts. He is the proud Father of two Sons and one Grandson. Mr. Whitmer, the community thanks you for all you have done and continue to do. Montpelier is proud to have you as part of the community.
Jennifer Manlove may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org