Residents came together Thursday for the annual Elkhart Chamber of Commerce meeting, and they had a special guest.
David Chavern, the Executive Vice President and COO of the United States Chamber of Commerce, was the featured speaker.
He spoke about business and the economy as a whole in the United States. He also stressed how important the education system and having skills are to the future as well as how much of an impact local business has on the community
The Crystal Ballroom was packed with people all celebrating those honored for their contributions to the City of Elkhart.
“Here you have community leaders who get up every day; creating jobs and creating prosperity for this community and it is really important and worthwhile to take a moment and acknowledge and celebrate them and talk about the impact of the work they do” says Chavern.
Impact is an understatement for Elkhart County Youth for Christ, who won the not-for-profit of the year award.
The group focuses on helping inner city kids by giving them a place to go to help keep them out of jails and juvenile detention centers.
“My wife and I have about 10 kids who go to church with us on Sunday and many of them are in foster homes. There's a need there but I can't imagine if they don't have that, they don't have anything” says Darrell Peterson.
But they are not the only ones helping others in Elkhart. Kevin Bullard was given the Business of the Year Award.
He is the owner of Bullard’s Farm Market and Greenhouses and provides fresh produce to residents as well bakery items.
“Small business is the heart of any community, the learning, the customers know you and you know your customers and a bond that is unmatchable” says Kevin Bullard.
Bullard said this year’s weather was not that great for farmers as we all know so hopefully this year will be better.
They also gave out a Century Plus Award, Woman of the Year Award, Business and Education Partnership Awards and Ambassador of the Year Award.