By Renee Larr
The Westfield Chamber of Commerce will host the annual Lantern Awards at the Palomino Ballroom at 6:30 pm. Sept. 29. The event will honor Westfield’s exceptional residents and businesses. The event began in 1982 as Community Night but evolved into the Lantern Awards in 2007.
“We call them that because of the history of Westfield with the lantern and the Quaker community. Each award that we give out symbolizes a piece of a lantern,” Chamber President Jack Russell said. “We have the Lantern Award, the Beacon Award, the Wick Award, so different parts of it that make up the lantern. It’s very similar to how you make up a community.”
Winners are nominated by the public and then voted on by the chamber board.
“All of our nominations come from the public,” Russell said. “We’re a big believer that this isn’t just a chamber event. We want to highlight individuals in the community doing great things, whether that’s on a local PTO, local HOA or different places around the community.”
Attendees will have the opportunity to vote on the winner of Business of the Year at the ceremony.
“One of the things that is different this year is our Business of the Year Award will be voted on by our businesses. This year we wanted to make two businesses nominees so our business community can come out and vote. It’s a little different than what we’ve usually done, but we wanted to make it a fun event,” said Russell.
The awards gala will include a 50/50 raffle, cocktail hour, meal and the awards ceremony.
“It’s open to the public. It’s $60 per person or $600 per table. Everyone is welcome to attend,” Russell said.
For more or to purchase tickets visit lantern-awards.org.
2017 Lantern Award Winners
- The Lantern Award (business of the year): Nominees – Titus Bakery, IMMI
- The Spark Award (new Westfield business): Urban Vines
- The Globe Award (outstanding service organization): Westfield Youth Sports Inc.
- Emerging Leader Award (young professional’s award): Kolton Blickenstaff
- The Beacon Award (citizen of the year): Danyele Easterhaus
- The Wick Award (volunteer of the year): Matt and Amy Lutz
- Shamrock Excellence Award (Westfield Washington Schools): Nick Verhoff
- Exemplery Employee Award (City of Westfield): Kristen Sparks
- STAR Award (Westfield Public Works): Dustin Shoe
- Above and Beyond Award (Westfield Police Dept.): Anthony Howard
- Leacing with an Attitude of Service Award (Westfield Fire Dept.): Battalion Chief Tony Tracy