Special people, business saluted at Chamber dinner

REED CITY — Hundreds of local residents paid tribute to the 2013 Citizen of the Year and Business of the Year award winners during the 50th Michigan Week Dinner event, which took place on April 25 at Reed City High School.

Richard Pemberton of Nestle Inn Cafe was introduced by Downtown Development Authority Chairman James Thompson.

“The Citizen of the Year award is our way of honoring a community member who leads by example and who has made a significant contribution and positive impact on Reed City,” said Thompson.

Pemberton not only runs a successful business at the restaurant, but volunteers for the Reed City Rocket Football Program, is a mentor, and feeds hundreds of people each Thanksgiving by offering a free meal, Thompson added.

“It feels really good. It’s an honor,” said Pemberton after receiving the award, adding he was shocked to realize he was the winner.

He said although the award names him, he works with a team of people who stand behind him and could not do what he does without their assistance.

The business of the year award was presented to Brad and Carol Phelps of Shaker’s Party Store and Deli.

“This award honors innovation, a strong entrepreneurial spirit and recognizes their time and talents to create a better Reed City,” said Thompson.

He added the pair supports Michigan-made products and gives back to Reed City Schools, the Crossroads Festival, the Osceola County Community Foundation, the fire department, youth groups and more. The party store is known for its great customer service and quality of food.

The Phelps said they were surprised when their business was announced.

“We’re just happy to help the community,” said Carol.

Brad agreed.

“We appreciate the award,” he said.

The celebratory event, hosted by the Reed City Chamber of Commerce, also provided the attendees with a look back on last year and hopes for the year ahead with local events and the completion of the Susan P. Wheatlake Regional Cancer Center.

“I feel that the event was very nice,” said Reed City Chamber Director Suzie Williams. “I love to do the Michigan Week Dinner because we get to honor those people who do so much in our community.”

She said the award winners and the nominees are all deserving of praise because they go above and beyond expectations and do not expect recognition while helping make the community a better place.

“These people do a lot,” said Williams.” They’re always doing things, they’re always willing to help.”