Local News

Avon Park chamber recognizes its finest

SEBRING - The city of Avon Park named its 2013 award winners during a banquet held Wednesday night at the Island View restaurant. Business of the Year was awarded to Chen Dental. Started in 2005, this family-owned business employs 13 people and is owned by Avon Park native Dr. William E. Chen. "He genuinely cares" and "is constantly giving back," stated Jennifer Williams, incoming president of the chamber, who presented the award. Williams received the Director of the Year award, presented by outgoing president Julie Diaz-Nichols.
The Community Service Award was awarded to the Avon Park Jaycees. "They give out 50 backpacks (full of school supplies) a year to kids who would probably never get a backpack," stated board member Mason Cobb. He also noted that the organization puts on different events within the community, hosts the Avon Park Easter egg hunt, donates to numerous local charities and associations and provides the funding for the Avon Park fireworks. Receiving this year's Beautification Award was Clinical Pharmacology Advice Network/The Daisy Girl Shop owned by Dr. Dennis Mungall and his wife, Cindy. Their's is the oldest building on Main Street located at 22 E. Main St. A Lifetime Achievement Award was given to Dr. Norman Stephens. As he accepted his award, Stephens made a short speech recounting how he first came to Avon Park in 1959 as a camper and later as a camp counselor. "From that moment on, I have loved Avon Park," said Stephens. "This town meant so much to me, and now it means even more. I'm the luckiest guy in the world." The theme of the Avon Park Chamber of Commerce's 2013 banquet Wednesday night captured the glory days of the city's rich baseball legacy. Keynote speaker Ron Sevigny wore a Tampa Bay Rays jersey and acted out a humorous skit where he played Babe Ruth in a dream sequence with his son, Mark, playing the supporting role. Outgoing board members Kim Schlosser and Mason Cobb were recognized as were incoming board members Cathy Albritton of the Florida Hospital, Mike Souther of Souther Signs, and Jeff Williams of Williams Citrus Nursery. Executive Director Tori Trinder also introduced the Chamber's new website, which goes live on Monday and includes editable web pages for all members as well as a Chamber for Good page listing information and events on local non profit organizations.