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      Annual Partners in Progress banquet honors Ottumwa leaders, businesses

      Partners in Progress banquet 2014

      The annual Partners in Progress banquet was held Thursday night at Ottumwa's Bridge View Center.

      Partners in Progress honored six local businesses as recipients of the Community Partner of the Year Award. Christner Contracting, Edd the Florist, the City of Ottumwa, Indian Hills Culinary Arts Program, John Deere Ottumwa Works and O'Hara Hardware all took home that award. Indian Hills President Dr. Marlene Sprouse was the keynote speaker. Partners in Progress President Barry Flint emceed the event.

      ??We get an opportunity tonight to share with people what some of the neat things our community partners are doing and get to honor them once a year, and it's usually the people that are a little more quiet and aren't bragging it, don't wear it on their shirt sleeves,?? Flint said. ??That really makes a difference.??

      Kim Hellige is this year's recipient of the Gene Schultz Community Service Award. Hellige was commended for her volunteerism for the Trails System and Blue Zones Project. Chamber Director Tim Kurtz says he received eight nominations for this year's award.