Buchanan Chamber of Commerce recognizes community members

Published 12:55 pm Monday, April 24, 2017

Business leaders and the community came together Friday night to celebrate a year of accomplishments at the annual Buchanan Chamber of Commerce award dinner.

Speakers for the evening discussed the Buchanan Promise, the achievements of community members — young and old — and paid tribute to Frank Mucha, the beloved teacher. By the end, one thing was clear: a lot of people worked hard to make life better in Buchanan in 2016.

The night’s first award, and arguably the most fitting to the town motto, was the Dale E. Florey Volunteer of the Year award. Winning the award was Dave Perez of the Buchanan District Library.

“Dave believes Buchanan is a great town with a lot to offer our families,” said Karol Behrle, a member of the Buchanan Chamber of Commerce board of directors. “Dave’s motto is: ‘live life to the fullest, and show people you have a heart.’”

Perez is originally from South Bend, Indiana, and has lived in Buchanan for nearly seven years. He is the president of the library board; a PTO officer at Ottawa Elementary School; one of two directors for Have Fun at Buchanan Parks; and serves on the committee board of the Buchanan Area Recreation Board.

Other winners included:

• Lifetime Achievement Award — Fran Terry

• Community Spirit Award — Friend’s of McCoy’s Creek Trail

• Buchanan young leader award — Stacey Carlin

• Buchanan Community Schools Hall of Fame Award (contributions to society) — Marie Kangas

• Buchanan Community Schools Hall of Fame Award (contributions to Buchanan Community Schools) — Frank Mucha (posthumous)

• Buchanan Community Schools Hall of Fame Award (performance in school-related activities) — Dr. Becky Gray

• Special recognition — Superintendent Andrea van der Laan