The Beaver Dam Chamber of Commerce closed out a centennial year with its annual dinner where Steve Hankes was awarded Chamber Member of the Year along with other attendees.

Executive Director Phil Fritsche said he is nicknamed “The Cheese Wiz” due his work with cheese vendors for the chamber’s annuual Taste of Wisconsin. Fritsche said Hankes was heavily involved with the chamber building renovation project in 2013.

Jim Flynn was awarded Citizen of The Year, Clothes for Kids won for Non-Profit of the Year and American National Bank was named the Business of the Year.

American National Bank, Jim Flynn and Clothes for Kids were selected by representatives of past award recipients.

“This community is exceptionally generous and I thank the people who support the many ways we are moving Beaver Dam forward,” Flynn said.

Flynn has been giving him time away as a volunteer in Beaver Dam for years. He has been volunteering and offering financial support to organizations such as Beaver Dam Area Community Theatre, Beaver Dam Community Library, Church Health Services and the Beaver Dam Unified School District.

At the 17th annual Beaver Dam Unified School District Wall of Fame banquet, Flynn was honored as a Friend of Education.

Clothes for Kids was applauded as the Non-Profit of the Year by dinner attendees and chamber members.

Clothes for Kids executive director Jodi Slowiak had some heartfelt words to say about her mother Carrie Walsh, who assists with Clothes for Kids. Walsh is battle cancer and was unable to attend the dinner.

“She [her mother] wants you to know that she is honored that Clothes for Kids was chosen for this award and that she will be back very soon,” Slowiak said.

She thanked the Clothes for Kids volunteers calling them the “heart of the program.”

Clothes for Kids is a non-profit organization and has been in existence since 1988. It provides year round, donated and purchased clothing, school supplies and toys for children throughout Dodge County and surrounding communities.

Clothes for Kids has had a dramatic year after The Rogers, 103 E. Maple Ave., terminated Clothes for Kids’ lease after allowing them to operate for 18 years in the basement of the former hotel.

Recently, it found a new space to lease located at 1019 S. Spring St from Apache LLC.

In a previous interview, Slowiak said the new location will be about 3,600 square feet and that they plan to start operating May 1 after some renovations.

American National Bank was honored as the Business of the Year during the dinner.

Ed Jacobs from American National Bank led a presentation thanking the community and showing the bank’s history in Beaver Dam dating back to 1891.

Jacobs joked about how the bank was originally called the German National Bank “until the war happened.”

American National Bank is a family-owned, locally-founded financial institution that has been a supporter of the Beaver Dam community. The bank has supported dozens of local charities annually, has been a leader in the business community and supporter of the chamber.

American National Bank has made it a policy to encourage its staff to volunteer in organizations in the community.

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