Ladies were in stunning dresses, men in dapper suits and there was an extravagant variety of masks.

Ladies were in stunning dresses, men in dapper suits and there was an extravagant variety of masks.

There were masks adorned with feathers, tassels, sequences, ribbon, bows, flowers and glitter for the 2013 Annual Carthage Chamber of Commerce Banquet Friday evening. Locals represented their businesses with smiles under their masks while enjoying the tradition of honoring those in the community for their diligent work, professional behavior and kind hearts.

“Carthage is blessed with people who routinely step up and lead,” said Pat Goff, chamber board chairman, during his welcoming speech. “With your support we're going to have another good year in 2013.”

After the Carthage Police Department Color Guard presented the colors, Louis Morgan played the National Anthem. As more than 250 people enjoyed catering by Mythos, there were many positive responses to the new location of the banquet – in the facility of the Congregation of the Mother Co-Redemptrix.

And the winners are …
Lora Phelps was presented with the Chairman's Award for her efforts in going above and beyond in her service with the chamber. She was recognized for her active involvement and innovative spirit in establishing the Carthage Emerging Leaders (CEL) and the quarterly Carthage Art Walks.

Karen Fenstermacher, NP, was unable to attend the event, but was given the ATHENA Award. Last year's recipient, Dr. Tamara Soriano, OD, told the crowd of Fenstermacher's compassion, willingness to listen, service to third world countries as well as to the Carthage community. A video was played of Dr. Elizabeth Barlet, also a past recipient of the ATHENA Award, surprising Fenstermacher with the award.

Andy Thomas was presented with the Artist of the Year Award by Joshua LeMasters on behalf of Cherry Babcock, last year's recipient.

A new award this year from the chamber, the CEL of the Year was given to Sheila VonHolten. After the May 22 Joplin tornado claimed VonHolten's 20-year photography business, she came to Carthage and immediately became active in the community.

The Golden Key Awards, always presented to outstanding educators in the Carthage community, were: Brittiany Nixon, for early childhood to third grade; Bridget Triplett, for fourth-sixth grade; Jacob Osborne, seventh-eighth grade; and Jamie Horton, for ninth-12th grade.

Bernadette Mims accepted the Spotlight Award on behalf of Dr. Greg Goetzinger, OD, at Carthage Vision Clinic. This is the 11th year a local business has been honored for enhancing a facility while improving the community around it. Merging two properties, Goetzinger changed the address of the vision clinic to 2020 S. Garrison.

Scott and Shirley Hoenshell received the Small Business of the Year Award for S&S Computers. Robyn Paul, with Dr. Fly's Salon, and Tiffany Shores, with Florette By Countryside, presented the award to the business for displaying a positive image and active role in the community, while giving outstanding service.

Mask Winners, awarded with gifts from Dr. Fly's Salon, for the evening were: Biggest Mask was awarded to Buck Cline; Overall Men's Best Mask was awarded to Chris Brust; Overall Women's Best Mask was awarded to Patrice Sacry; and Most Unique Mask was awarded to Andy Thomas.

Andy Thomas returned to the stage again at the conclusion of the evening to receive the Richard M. Webster Citizen of the Year Award. Last year's recipient, Marge Rogler, and Richard Webster, Jr., and Missouri State Senator Ron Richard, and Missouri State Representative Tom Flanigan, presented Thomas with the award.

As one of the most prestigious awards of the night, the Richard M. Webster Citizen of the Year Award is given to an individual “who has devoted much of their time to the improvement and enhancement of the Carthage community as a whole.”

“My breath is taken away,” Thomas said, in accepting his third prize of the night. “I don't feel I deserve this, I just wake up in the morning and do what I want to do and things seem to work out for me.”