Linda Mehlum of
Hartford, center, is overcome with emotion as she and
other members of the Pink Pumpkin Run Board of Directors
are announced the “Volunteer of the Year,” on Thursday
evening during the Hartford Area Chamber of Commerce
annual dinner and awards event at the Chandelier
Ballroom in Hartford. “I just wanted to make a
difference in peoples lives and this just verifies that
maybe we do,” said Mehlum. The Pink Pumpkin Run, which
began in 2015, raises money for families going through
breast cancer. Mehlum is a two-time cancer survivor.
John Ehlke/Daily News
HARTFORD — Unusually cold winter weather failed to stop
the annual Hartford Area Chamber of Commerce Awards
Dinner from going on as planned Thursday night at the
Chandelier Ballroom. Several awards were presented to
local businesses and chamber members.
In an unusual occurrence, there was a tie in the voting
for the annual Hartford Achievement Award so both Tom
Hostad, executive director of the Hartford Area
Development Corp., and the public service organization
Hartford Community Service, were each presented the
Chamber Executive Director Scott Henke said Hartford
Community Services is a local group that gives back to
the community by using the proceeds from their annual
haunted house, Terror on Rural Street, to provide other
service organizations with funds throughout the year.
“They also help with the countywide disaster training —
they do all the makeup and realistic things that are set
up for the training sessions,” Henke said. Henke said
Hostad helps the community through involvement in
various groups and activities.
“He, of course, promotes area development and he is also
on the Board of Directors for the United Way of
Washington County,” Henke said. “He is very involved in
Other chamber awards and the recipients include:
■ Volunteer of the Year — The Pink Pumpkin Board of
Directors “This group has been very active in the three
years it has been around in not only in the Pink Pumpkun
Run itself (held every fall), but in selling pink
pumpkins during the month of October. They use all of
their proceeds to buy gift cards and for many other
things for people who are going through a battle with
breast cancer,” Henke said. “It’s kind of like the old
way when a neighbor would bring a casserole over to the
home of the person in need only they bring gift guards
and other things that they can use to get to doctor’s
appointments or treatments, etc.”
■ Rookie of the Year — Casey’s Creations
Henke said Casey’s Creations came on the business scene
in about mid-2018 in the Chamber’s Farmers Market.
“Husband and wife Casey and Eric Leintz decided to make
cookies for the market. She makes great cookies and
decided to do some baking and I think they baked about
six dozen the first night and sold out immediately,”
Henke said. “Since then they’ve blossomed out to doing
all kinds of cookies and baked good goods and have grown
from there. They’ve done a great job starting out. They
still do it out of the home, but they do some online
■ Legacy Award — Design Originals Floral
“They’ve always been involved with anything the Chamber
or the Community asks,” Henke said. “The business is
owned by Mark and Charlene Jung.”
■ President’s Award — Larry Goeman
Goeman owns two convenience stores, one in Hartford, the
other in Erin and then he also owns Uncle Larry’s
Kitchen which is inside his Hartford Rapid Mart and
Uncle Larry’s Car Wash.
“He was picked because it seems every time he’s asked to
do something he is there to do whatever he can,” Henke
■ Business of the Year — Fox Brothers Piggly Wiggly
Henke said there’s not enough he can say about the
store, the owners and the employees.
“They step up every way they can and they run a great
employee owned business,” Henke said.
Nominees for each of the awards, other than the winners
■ Volunteer of the Year — Dana Osmanski, Davie Pye,
Marilyn Raschka, Martha Kolins and Rev. James Schleif.
■ Hartford Achievement Award — The Lutz Family
Foundation, Pat Frank and Ralph Kuepper.
■ 2018 Rookie of the Year — Cobblestone Hotel and Suites
and Wissota Chophouse, Keith Justman, M & J Auto and
■ Legacy Award — Chandelier Ballroom, Dave’s Lanes,
Hartford Golf Club and the Ponderosa Steakhouse.
■ Business of the Year — Broan-NuTone LLC, East Side
Lumber Company and Ewald’s Hartford Ford.