“We have ‘it’”
“Have pride in why you call Washington your home, have pride in the progress we have collectively accomplished, have pride in where the future of Washington is headed, and we want you to have a sense of humor.”
The opening message of guest speaker Ann Williams to the 260 people who gathered at the Riverside Casino and Golf Resort event center Monday for the annual “Our Town” dinner was a message shared by many of the people in attendance. The dinner, hosted by the Washington Chamber of Commerce, the Washington Economic Development Group (WEDG), and Main Street Washington, is the opportunity for the groups to recognize area volunteers and businesses that have distinguished themselves during the previous year.
“We are something special here,” Williams said. “We have ‘it.’ Whatever ‘it’ is, we have it.”
Williams and Amanda Greiner took the podium after the banquet dinner to speak of why they are proud to be from Washington. Williams was born and raised in Washington. Greiner was born in Washington, but moved away and has now returned. They spoke of the benefits of growing up in Washington County. Greiner spoke of her childhood in Brighton and highlighted some of the traditional mainstays of the town — The Brighton Bears, Lake Darling, and Skunk River.
Greiner said the people of Washington County are “progressive.” She also said that “competitive” may describe the people as a whole.
“When a group of people get together and see a need, they not only embrace the idea, they make it happen,” Greiner said. “All the while others are still scratching their head wondering if it is possible.”
They spoke about many of the accomplishments that had happened in the county over the last several years. They also talked about the projects that are still coming such as a wellness park and an auditorium for Washington High School.
The Washington County SAFE Coalition was the first to be honored by the Washington Chamber of Commerce. The group took home the Community Service of the Year award. The Business of the Year award went to the Washington County Extension Office. Jim Gorham won the Citizen of the Year award.
Main Street Washington honored Jeff Vetter with the Outstanding Volunteer of the Year award. Jaron Rosien, owner of JP’s 207 and also the master of ceremonies for the dinner, accepted the Business Success Story of the Year award. The Business Partner of the Year award went to West Chester Saving Bank. Honored with the Best Building Renovation of the Year award was Uptown Auto Wash.
Many of the people being honored by WEDG were unable to attend the banquet. Director Ed Raber announced past president Don Sobaski was unable to attend the dinner. He presented the Harvey Holden Special Service Award to Reliant Long-Term Care. Owners Jon Thompson and Todd Thompson accepted.