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Four to Be Recognized by Greater Chicopee Chamber of Commerce

CHICOPEE — The Greater Chicopee Chamber of Commerce will pay tribute to the four recipients of the prestigious Shining Stars Awards at its annual event to be held at the Castle of Knights on Memorial Drive on Friday, March 2 from 6:30 to 10 p.m.

Since 1985, the Chicopee Chamber of Commerce has paid tribute to an extraordinary Business of the Year, Citizen of the Year, Volunteer of the Year, and Nonprofit Organization of the year by the Shining Stars Nominating Committee, chaired by Ernest Laflamme Jr., the first Citizen of the Year.

“Recognizing the people and organizations that serve our community is one of the best ways we can make sure they are thanked for their extraordinary work, and serves as an inspiration for all of us,” said Jessica Roncarati-Howe, chamber president.

Interstate Towing Co. will be recognized as the Greater Chicopee Chamber of Commerce Business of the Year for 2018. Interstate Towing is a professionally operated, full-service towing, recovery, and road-service company, started from the ground up in 1999 by CEO Jeremy Procon. In partnership with AAA, Interstate Towing has become the foremost towing and recovery provider in the area.

Dawn Creighton will be recognized as the Greater Chicopee Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the Year for 2018. She is the Western Mass. regional director for Associated Industries of Massachusetts (AIM) and board president of Dress for Success Western Massachusetts. Dress for Success is a not-for-profit organization promoting the economic independence of disadvantaged women by providing professional attire, a network of support, and the career-development tools to help them thrive in work and in life. In addition to her work at AIM and Dress for Success, Creighton sits on the boards of the Human Resource Management Assoc., Junior Achievement, and Internhere.com.

Karen Hansmann of Chicopee will be recognized as the Greater Chicopee Chamber Volunteer of the Year for 2018. When Hansmann began offering to help out at the chamber, she jumped right in and did whatever was needed, consistently showing a commitment to supporting the community and encouraging others to get involved. She is an incoming member of the Chicopee Chamber board of directors, Salute Breakfast committee chair, and Chicopee Democratic City Committee member, and recently left Voices From Inside after 10 years of service.

Valley Opportunity Council (VOC) will be recognized as the Greater Chicopee Chamber Nonprofit Organization of the Year for 2018. VOC started out small in 1965 and was originally named the Community and Regional Opportunity Program. It has grown significantly since then and now offers over 30 programs in a wide variety of areas, including food and nutrition, energy assistance, education and child care, youth and adult programs, and community outreach. Several years ago, VOC also started investing in the local community by purchasing and renovating properties in Chicopee and Holyoke.

This event is sponsored by diamond sponsor Westfield Bank; platinum sponsors Polish National Credit Union and PeoplesBank; gold sponsors the Arbors Kids, Holyoke Medical Center, and BusinessWest; and bronze sponsor United Personnel.

The evening is a gala event decorated by CJC Events, which is a full-service video, audio, lighting, rental, staging, and multi-media production company that turns the banquet room into a glamorous theater in which the chamber honors its recipients. To register to attend, call the chamber at (413) 594-2101 or visit www.chicopeechamber.org and sign up in the Calendar of Events.

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