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Public to help nominate Chamber winners

Special to the Courier

Who will be designated as Bandera's "Citizen of the Year" for 2011?

The Bandera County Chamber of Commerce invites Courier readers to nominate their choices for this honor, and for the Cowboy Capital and Business Community Service awards, as well. Winners will be selected by popular vote from a list of nominees and announced at the annual Awards Gala, set for Saturday, Feb. 4, at The Farm County Club. Invitations will be mailed to Chamber of Commerce members and tickets will also be available to the general public.

"Historically, we've limited nominations and voting on these annual awards to Chamber of Commerce members, but it makes more sense and it's more fair to have everyone in the county involved," said Cerise Ripps, Chamber office manager.

"We believe it gives the awards greater significance if more people help choose the winners. I've always thought it was out-of-balance somehow that only Chamber of Commerce members chose the Citizen of the Year, for instance," she continued. "We also hope that by inviting people to be more involved in some of our programs and events, it will give them a better idea of what we do."

Cowboy Capital Award is given to an individual or group who has made an outstanding contribution to Bandera's image as the "Cowboy Capital of the World."

Past recipients have included Almost Patsy Cline Band, Bud Fitzpatrick, Maudeen Marks, Robert Earl Keen, Linda Allen, Ray Wharton, Mary Anderwald, Don Hicks, The Forge with Kenneth Stroud and Joe Reidy, Clay Conoly, Dusty Britches, Kevin Fitzpatrick, Nancy Hopes, Joe McMullan, Bungy Hartshorn, Arkey Blue, Jim Davis, Jack Frazier, Billie Crowell, Patricia Moore, Bob Click, David Burell, Carey Poe, Rudy Robbins, Cowboy Capital Rodeo Association, Barry and Marcia Toepp, Cowboys on Main Street and Hoot Gibson.

The Citizen(s) of the Year award is designed for an individual-couple who has contributed extraordinary time, effort and assistance to enhance the quality of life for citizens of Bandera County.

Past recipients have included Dan Anderson, Michael and Susie Wilson, Pat and Cindy Breedlove, Frank Shubert, Lanette Pennell, Dan Wise, Victor and Genie Strickland, Buddy and Karon Byrd, Trisha Green, Nancy Montgomery, Ralph Dresser and Linda James.

The Business Community Service Award traditionally goes to a business that has contributed extraordinary time, effort and-or financial assistance to enhance the quality of life for the citizens of Bandera County.

Past recipients have included Gingerbread House, Billy Gene's Restaurant, Country Accents Antiques, The Farm Country Club and Farm RV Park, Cabaret Café and Dance Hall, Bandera County Courier, Bandera Bulletin, Shoe Biz, 11th Street Cowboy Bar, Brick's River Café and El Jacalito Restaurant.

Individuals, groups and businesses do not have to be Chamber members to be nominated for the annual awards, Ripps reiterated.

Nominations for the various categories should be made on the ballot provided. Participants are asked to include their reason(s) for selecting the nominees on the form. Previous winners may not be re-nominated for the same award.

Forms must be dropped to the Chamber of Commerce, 331 Main Street, by 5 pm, Thursday, Jan. 12.

Forms can also be mailed to the Chamber at PO Box 2445, Bandera 78003 or faxed to 830-796-3970 by the deadline.

Nominees' names may also be e-mailed to cowboy@banderatex.com.

Call 830-796-3280 for additional information.