The Belle Fourche Chamber of Commerce honored its own as it changed leadership at the Saturday, Feb. 18, 2012, Belle Fourche Chamber of Commerce Banquet.

In keeping with a 1970s theme, the informal dinner was divided between a social hour and well-crafted munchies and the awards program.

Vicky Thiel took over officially as the organization's new president from Rich Drabek - but in a tie-dyed top and wearing various 1970s styled glasses to get different perspectives on the coming year's programs. Past president Bob Morris offered a set of horned-rim rose-colored glasses that brought a set of laughs since the rims of the cat's eye glasses literally had horns.

Wade Pehl received the 2012 Community Pride Award. Pehl has been active in innumerous community projects, both in obvious roles and also behind the scenes on projects ranging from economic development to wielding a hammer for Habitat for Humanity. He had a part in obtaining new playground equipment at South Park grade school and was on the school board when the Air Force property was obtained in the area now holding the Belle Fourche Middle School. He has been involved in numerous projects at St. James Lutheran Church, Habitat for Humanity in Nisland and Spearfish and the Women of War project.

Posy Palace was named 2012 Retail Business of the Year. The floral shop has served the Belle Fourche area for over 40 years. Shelly and Mark Kapsa purchased the business in 2002.

Shelly and her staff manage a full-service family owned and operated floral shop. It offers secure 24-hour online ordering, phone and walk-in orders.

Offerings include traditional and specialized wedding, prom and party flowers, and a variety of gifts including plush stuffed animals, balloons, fruit baskets, gourmet baskets, silk arrangements, home décor items, baby gifts, chocolates, balloons, and other items.

Black Hills Power serves the Belle Fourche area and has an office on State Street. The utility has been delivering energy since 1883 and serves 68,000 customers in 20 communities located in Western South Dakota, Northern Wyoming and Southeastern Montana.

It was noted for support of economic development groups throughout the region and partnering with the communities it serves.

BHP employees donate hours in community service through organizing a blood drive, coaching a youth sports team, raising funds to find a cure for cancer or leading a nonprofit board.

Black Hills Power sponsors programs to support the environment including helping customers weatherize their homes and building clean technology into power plants.

Its volunteer service project, the Power of Trees program, is a community-focused program designed to raise public awareness about the positive impacts trees have on our homes, communities and the environment.

Tara and Craig Knapp were named 2012 Employer of the Year at the Belle Fourche Dairy Queen DQ Grill & Chill of Belle Fourche they have owned for 5 years.

Their employees nominated them for the honor. The nomination noted the Knapps are kind, considerate and honest; care about their employees and work hard to make a difference in Belle Fourche.

The restaurant was remodeled in 2010 for indoor seating for 92 as well as drive up service.

Faye Kennedy 2012 Volunteers of the Year include the late Cy Bidwell and Joyce Drabek.

Although neither are Belle Fourche natives, both began to pitch in for community improvement projects as soon as they moved to the community.

Bidwell owned a number of businesses at his native Broadus, Mont., before moving Tru Catch Traps to Belle Fourche. He was a member of Belle Fourche Shriners, served on the school board and was a past president of the country club.

A longtime chamber member, he served on the economic development committee until his death Jan. 9, 2012.

Joyce Drabek served on a number of programs and projects after she and her husband Rich moved to Belle Fourche. He continued his activity in Lions with her support until she was among charter members forming a new Lions Club in Belle Fourche angled to a women's membership.

Lifetime Membership Award for 2012 went to Dennis Simmons. He moved to Belle Fourche at age eight and attended Black Hills State University as well as going to work at Motive Parts in Belle Fourche.

He became manager of Motive Parts in 1973 and retired Nov. 1, 2006 after 47 years at the business.

Dennis and his wife Phyllis currently spend a lot of time at their ranch fixing fence since his retirement as one of the best-known business figures in Belle Fourche.




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