The Leavenworth-Lansing Area Chamber of Commerce held its annual banquet Friday night at the Riverfront Community Center and presented its top three awards.
Kansas Country Store was named Business of the Year.
Crystal Swann Blackdeer was named the Humanitarian of the Year.
Cody Savage was named the Junior Citizen of the Year, and Mary Mack was named Volunteer of the Year.
Kansas Country Store, owned by Sherry and Don Brown, offers a wide assortment of pet supply needs and gifts as well as an array of other items of a country or western theme.
The Browns also opened HOPE, Inc., a not-for-profit pet clinic. HOPE stands for Help Overpopulation of Pets Economically. The organization provides an affordable option for people who are looking for a lower cost alternative to sterilize their pets.
“Kansas Country Store is a worthy recipient of the Business of the Year,” according to a recommendation letter nominating the business. “Kansas Country Store has been a long-standing business in Leavenworth and through their effort have not only revitalized many buildings in the downtown area, they are very supportive of many awesome causes in not only Leavenworth, but the entire Leavenworth County area.”
Swann Blackdeer, executive director of the Leavenworth County Humane Society, was named the Humanitarian of the Year for her work with the pet agency.
Through her efforts, the LCHS purchased property on Gilman Road to move the agency from its current location on Main Street to a much larger facility.
According to a nominating letter, “This was a huge leap of faith – largely energized by Crystal’s determination for LCHS, Inc. to continue serving Leavenworth County people and pets who otherwise would have no serving shelter. Crystal donated the majority of the down payment for the purchase which closed on Sept. 10. There is no not-for-profit leader with more ‘skin in the game’ than our executive director.”
Swann Blackdeer not only is a leader at LCHS, but she supports numerous other pet shelter agencies in Leavenworth County.
Savage, a senior at Leavenworth High School, is a straight-A student (ranked No. 4 in a class of 319 students) who is involved in numerous school and community activities.
“Cody is intelligent, a natural born leader and committed to his family, school and community,” according to a nominating letter. “Our country is in good hands with young men like Cody. I cannot imagine a better candidate as he is well-focused and an excellent example of committing to hard work in order to achieve one’s goals.”
Savage is very involved in the school’s JROTC program, serving as battalion commander, leading more than 350 cadets. He is a member of the elite Raider and rifle teams. He is also active in Boy Scouts, earning his Eagle Scout rank.