The Audubon Chamber of Commerce and Audubon County Economic Development held their annual joint Community Banquet and Auction Saturday night, at Saint Patrick’s Parish Center. Receiving a Special 2011 Community Service Award for their service, commitment and sacrifice to the community, was the Audubon Fire Department. Audubon Fire Chief John Ballou said the fire department is one of the few businesses, associations or groups in the community that actually hope their customers DON’T call them, but when they do, their 40 volunteer members, nine of whom are Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT’s), two of whom are First Responders, one Paramedic and two who are taking EMT classes, are ready to respond to those calls. He said he is extremely proud of each member of his department. He says in his years serving at the State Fire Training Bureau, he’s trained many firefighters from western Iowa and elsewhere around the State, and “The Audubon Fire Department takes a back seat to none of them.” Ballou thanked the community for its support and said the recognition they received Saturday night meant as much as anything else the community could do for the department.
Presenting the 2011 Audubon Citizen of the Year Award Saturday, was the 2010 Citizen of the Year, Thomas R. Nielsen. Nielsen said it was his honor to present the award to Lyle H. Hansen, Junior, who was born and raised in Audubon County, and is a dedicated servant to the community. He said Lyle has been a constant supporter and promoter of the community. When asked to serve, he says Hansen was always there to help, and could be counted on. Not only to serve on a committee, but to committed and active in the community. Hansen said he’s “Always been proud to call Audubon home.”
He says it’s “A great place to grow up and a great place to come back to. A great place to raise kids,” and great to his kids back from college and close to home.
Other recognition went to several sponsors of “Light Up Audubon”, which was tasked with raising money for all new LED lights to be hung in the downtown area. The lights were damaged in an ice storm a couple of years ago. To date, Light Up Audubon has raised over $4,800 toward replacing the lights, but the goal is raise $12,000, which will allow the lights to be replaced as needed, and kept on year around, during special celebrations and community events, not just for the holidays. And, Audubon County Economic Development President Troy Wessel, Saturday night, recognized 13 businesses and two individuals at the Ceremony, who marked significant milestones over the past year, in the areas of expansion, new business, and/or who have received awards or recognition from their respective industries.