Hastings business leaders crowned the community’s top educator, business and volunteer Thursday.
The award winners were highlighted during the Jan. 23 Hastings Area Chamber of Commerce & Tourism Bureau’s annual meeting and awards dinner at Hidden Greens Golf Course. The event seized on the new decade by honoring themes from previous century’s “Roaring ‘20s.”
Hastings High School biology teacher Joe Beattie won the chamber’s Educator of the Year award. Chamber leaders said he was instrumental in helping the school district receive a 56-acre land donation — in addition to the lasting impact he’s had on students.
Beattie used his biology expertise to playfully help gala attendees understand the digestion process as they finished up their desserts.
“My drive everyday with all kinds of people is to help them understand that deep complexity,” he said.
Rivertown Days volunteer Chuck Spavin was awarded Volunteer of the Year. He told the audience how life calls on people to first learn, then earn, before finally returning what they’ve received.
Spavin said volunteering is all about giving back.
“If you care about your community, I think the only conclusion is you have to volunteer for your community,” he said.
Merchants Bank President Bruce Goblrisch accepted the Business of the Year award on behalf of the institution.
He said he’s been attending the annual chamber event for 18 years and proud to see Merchants Bank join the other businesses of the year.
“It’s very humbling to have Merchants Bank on that list,” he told the audience before recognizing bank employees at the event.