Chamber of Commerce/CIDC banquet honors Hospital Auxiliary, Plantpeddler

CRESCO -- A capacity crowd of approximately 130 gathered at the Cresco Country Club on Saturday, Nov. 17  for the 20th annual Cresco Area Chamber of Commerce and Cresco Industrial Development Corporation Banquet & Auction.
The CIDC Awards recognized the Regional Health Services of Howard County Hospital Auxiliary as its Outstanding Organization and Plantpeddler as its Outstanding Business, respectively.
Organization of the Year: RHSHC Auxiliary
CIDC President Jerome Waterbeck introduced the Organization of the Year award:
“St. Joseph Mercy Hospital had a small auxiliary of 15 members. They were called the Hospital Sewing Unit. In 1974, the Howard County Hospital Auxiliary held elections and their goals were recruiting volunteers, raising funds and enhancing public relations. Congratulations to RHSHC Auxiliary,” he said.
Speaking on behalf of the Auxiliary, Cindy Yslas said,
“A huge thank you to the support we get from this community. Moving back here after all of the years of traveling, it’s been neat to be a part of some really great organizations that make this town as wonderful as it is.
“As an auxiliary, we have raised over $600,000 in the quilt auctions. We have an absolutely phenomenal hospital, and it’s just so exciting to know that as an auxiliary, we’ve been able to fill that need to get the hospital some of the outstanding support they have. Thank you so much for that, and a lot of appreciation goes toward a lot of people who put in a lot of hard work in that auxiliary to make things happen,” Yslas said.
Business of the Year: Plantpeddler
In his introduction of the Business of the Year,  Waterbeck said:
“Since 1980, Plantpeddler has built a very colorful history: With roots starting in traditional floral and garden format, Plantpeddler has seen extensive growth through the development of multiple divisions that serve an extensive clientele ranging from gardeners to greenhouse growers. Employing anywhere from 70-100 workers, this is not your grandma and grandpa’s greenhouse. Plantpeddler is Business of the Year for 2018.”
Speaking on behalf of Plantpeddler, Mike Gooder said:
 “You can’t get more rooted than I am in Cresco. I am very fortunate.”
Pointing to the audience, Gooder said, “This woman right here (Bootie Kapler) saw me before my mother (did) and now she works for me. She was the attending nurse when I was born and I tell this story all over, because Bootie Kapler was there the day I was born. How do you get more rooted in a community? I get to travel the world, and especially when I’m coming back from the Minneapolis Airport and I get to Chester, Iowa and into Howard County, I feel like the luckiest guy alive. We don’t realize what we have. I go to small towns because I travel a lot and I get to Cresco and I see the vibrancy of our community. I am so proud of the roots that I have in this town.”
He continued, “Rachel and I started out in 1980 with nothing. If it wasn’t for Fran Thomson who told (CUSB Bank’s) Jack (Thomson) to lend us $10,000 to get a down payment, we wouldn’t be here. I look to where we are today and what we are looking to do in the future. It is amazing to me what you can do in rural Iowa. We’re so fortunate. Think about what God has given us, the gifts we have, the talent in this room and in our communities and how privileged we are to be a part of this family.”
Gooder said, “On Dec. 6 this year, every major poinsettia breeder in the world will be in Cresco. We started with 400 poinsettias when we bought the greenhouse. This year, it is a million and a quarter poinsettias. In the last year, we’ve completed several international fields that are huge for the future of what we are. There is a tradition of over 100 years for greenhouses in this town. It is very rare that a business with three different ownership families could accomplish that task. We are poised now to do some things and bring some things to Cresco that are truly amazing. I thank you so much for allowing us to be a part of this community.”
Chamber Board of Directors
President Mary Ann Neuzil introduced the other Chamber Board of Directors. They are: Ryan McCarville, vice president; Hillary Zidlicky, past president; Jen Burke, Dan Evans, Alex McCabe, Katie Hudek, Cassie Lichty, Jennalee Pedretti, Kris Riley, and Jan Carman (City of Cresco representative).
Neuzil also noted Zidlicky was stepping down from her position on the board because she has accepted a staff position at the Cresco Welcome Center.
“We’re very excited to have her on staff there. Her past years of service and the knowledge and experience she has as she served on the board is going to be a great asset as she works at the Welcome Center. Congratulations, Hillary,” she said.
Neuzil said, “Thank you to Jason [Passmore], Spiff [Slifka] and Hillary for all of your hard work that you did preparing for tonight and the work you do for us the whole year. It is truly a pleasure, and I enjoy working with all of you.”
Neuzil mentioned some of the Chamber events held during the past year: 
“We held our Staff Appreciation Luncheon again for the new teachers, the HCBT annual banquet, the New Horizon scholarship and the completion of the Freedom Rock (Memorial Park) project. The Chamber was heavily involved in the coordination of the Freedom Rock Project and also arranged for the Oak Ridge Boys to be part of the dedication ceremony. We had our Rockin’ Ridiculous Sidewalk Sales, our Chamber golf outing, Family Fun Night and National Night Out, the Fly-In Breakfast, Norman Borlaug Harvest Fest, with the first year we’ve had the Steak Cook-Off.”
She continued, “Our Santa Holiday Parade is coming up and our Jingle in your Pocket promotion is going right now. Our first drawing will be the first Friday after the Santa Holiday Parade. We give away $4,000 which is generously given by the two banks, so thank you to Cresco Bank & Trust and CUSB Bank for your generous donation.”
Neuzil recognized new Chamber members, including: Mobile Mamma, Bear Creek Archeology, Howard County Energy District, K&L Enterprises, Cresco Small Engine Repair and Service, The Hair Company Salon & Spa, Advanced Systems, Inc. and Fat T’s Cafe. 
The Chamber Awards were announced, recognizing those businesses celebrating an anniversary year:
One Year: Atomic Pizza Pub; Bear Creek Archeology
Five Years: Furniture Re-do
Ten Years: Cresco Motel; Mudslingers’ Construction
Fifteen Years: A&W/Long John Silvers
Twenty-Five Years: Camp Site RV, Master Plastics, Cathy’s Car Wash
Thirty years: Bethany Housewares, Bodensteiner Implement, Ruppert’s Ace Hardware, Turkey River Pheasants Forever
Thirty-Five Years: Dough & Joe Bakery, Fisk’s Farm & Home, H&S Motors
Forty-Five Years: Curtis’ Trees & Gifts, Featherlite Inc., Helping Services of Northeast Iowa
Fifty Years: Driftrunners’ Snowmobile Club, Lindstrom Funeral Home
Fifty-Five Years: Aspenson Real Estate, Cresco Family Dentistry,  Evans Memorial Home
Sixty-Five Years: Billmyer Furniture &  Flooring
Seventy Years: CIA Insurance, Cresco Wildlife Club
Ninety-Five Years: Cresco Country Club
One Hundred Years: Howard County Farm Bureau
One Hundred Twenty-Five Years: Howard County Fair Board
One Hundred Thirty-Years: CUSB Bank 
President Waterbeck introduced the CIDC Board of Directors: Mark Cuvelier, first vice president; Chuck Malek, second vice president; Andy Ludeking, past president; Scott Thomson, treasurer; Gary Aspenson, Tom Barnes, Scott Fortune, Gary Gooder, Dick Holten, Dan Huiskamp, Derek Lee, Bob Story, Donna Thomas, Bart Wilson, Mike Drees, Craig Morrison, Jerry Wilson, Steve McCarville (City of Cresco representative) and Don Burnikel (Howard County Board of Supervisors). 
CEDA/Howard County Business & Tourism: Ron Zeigler, Passmore, Zidlicky and Slifka. Volunteers: Connie Bourassa, Barb Zak, Bootie Kapler, Kathy Ferrie, Ellen Murphy and Carol Lienhard.
Thirty-five varieties of wine and spirits were on hand for the Wine/Spirits Pull.
Auction items were donated by numerous businesses, with proceeds to the new marquee in Beadle Park. Auction items were donated by Hill Top Cabinetry, CIA Insurance, The Ox & Wren Spirits and Gifts, The Cresco Shopper, K&M Metal Designs, 2 Chicks in a Barn, Quilters Garden, Regional Health Services of Howard County, Leuthold’s Clothing, Northeast Iowa Motors, Holstrom’s/Elm Street Gifts, Spahn & Rose, Aspenson Real Estate, Plantpeddler, Bear Creek Archeology, Billmyer Furniture & Flooring, Cresco Times Plain Dealer, Camp-Site RV, Cresco Bank & Trust, Holstrom’s/The Pub, CUSB Bank and Malek Builders. The hats for the auction items were provided by O’Henry’s Stitches & Prints.

Cresco Times

Phone: 563-547-3601
Fax: 563-547-4602

Cresco TPD
214 N. Elm Street
Cresco, IA 52136

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