Courier-Leader & Flashes

Paw Paw Chamber honors “Quiet Heroes”

The Paw Paw Area Chamber of Commerce honored Chamber members from the healthcare and education communities as “Quiet Heroes” for their extraordinary efforts facing down the pandemic; while a long-time Paw Paw family business received the Chamber’s Legacy Award at the PPACC Spoonfuls & Spirits dinner Saturday, April 23. Accepting their awards were, from left, Diane Bartom and Richard Godfrey of Wings of Hope Hospice; Superintendent Rick Reo of Paw Paw Public Schools; Dr. Matthew Dommer of Bronson LakeView Hospital; Adele Meyer for Meyer Wood Products; Danielle Persky of the Van Buren-Cass District Health Department; Kristen Mitchell of Maple Lake Assisted Living; and Judy Vliek of Paw Paw Village Pharmacy. White Oaks Retirement Residence and Meadow Woods Nursing and Rehabilitation Center were also honored.
Courier-Leader photo/Paul Garrod

PAW PAW – The Paw Paw Area Chamber of Commerce brought the community together Saturday night, April 23, for its popular Spoonfuls & Spirits community dinner and awards celebration at the Paw Paw Lions Club. The event, sporting a “Back to the Future” theme, entertained nearly 250 guests, who were treated to the specialties of local restaurants, wineries, breweries, and coffee cafés.
Serving small portions from their menus were Amore Pizza, Big Foot Burrito, Cancun Mexican Restaurant, Garden Griddle, GG Sweets, and LaCantina Ristorante Italiano. Lucky Girl Brewery and Paw Paw Brewing Co. supplied food and beer, while Cody Kresta Winery, St. Julian Winery, and Warner Vineyards offered a wide variety of wines for tasting. GreenGlass Coffee Company and Biggby Coffee rounded out the buffet with some fresh hot brews.
The RedArrow Ministries show band took guests back in time by performing some classics from the 80s for dancing.
The PPACC Board of Directors selected for awards this year the Chamber member businesses who were confronted most by the pandemic. Acknowledging that all the Chamber’s member businesses deserved recognition for their perseverance over the past two years, the Board chose to honor those businesses in healthcare and education for the unusually difficult challenges each endured in dealing with the spread of the coronavirus. The people in these businesses had little choice but to face the virus every day, and deal with the medical and emotional impact of it, with a certain risk to themselves. “Quiet Heroes” Awards were presented to:
Bronson LakeView Hospital – “For your compassionate care and treatment of our citizens while facing the especially dangerous challenges of COVID-19… For being our first line of defense, our guardians of hope, and our comfort in place of distanced loved ones… For your courage and strength to be there every day – on our worst days – when we needed you most.”
Paw Paw Public Schools – “For your dedication to continuing to educate our children through the extraordinary challenges presented by COVID-19… For understanding the threat to their well-being and the concerns of their families, and for taking responsible measures to provide safe environments for teaching and learning… And for being “All-in for all kids” at all times.”
Maple Lake Assisted Living and White Oaks Retirement Residence – “For providing the especially compassionate care necessary to ensure the health and safety of your residents against the threat of COVID-19, and always.”
Meadow Woods Nursing and Rehabilitation Center – “For continuing your protective and compassionate care of your patients and their families against the lengthy and dangerous threat of COVID-19.”
Wings of Hope Hospice – “For providing the especially compassionate care necessary to keep your residents and their families safe and in their own best health.”
The PPACC Board also afforded Special Recognition to Paw Paw Village Pharmacy, who was the first pharmacy in this area to offer the COVID-19 vaccine and ongoing clinics for testing and vaccination; and to the Van Buren/Cass District Health Department for its continued monitoring of the virus and community health, and for keeping citizens informed, tested and vaccinated against COVID-19.
The Paw Paw Chamber also presented a Legacy Award to Meyer Wood Products and the Meyer family, who are carrying on the long-established Paw Paw business following the recent death of its founder, Roy Meyer. Mr. Meyer was an educator for many years before becoming a successful local entrepreneur. From picnic tables to storage barns, Meyer Wood Products grew to be a go-to business for support of school and community activities, with Roy’s enthusiasm for it all.
His family and staff will continue the business he nurtured and were acknowledged as well.

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