Bowling Green Area Chamber of Commerce Awards recognizes volunteers

BOWLING GREEN, Ky.- The Bowling Green Area Chamber of Commerce is celebrating its volunteers in an annual ceremony that awards four people for their outstanding service.

The crowd erupted with cheers and tears a the awards were handed out for ambassador of the year, volunteer of the year, young professional of the year and board volunteer of the year.

Steve Davis is The Chamber’s new chairman this year. Davis announced the winners and handed out awards Wednesday morning.

“It takes a lot of time and everybody is busy, but if we didn’t have volunteers you know, I realized I wanted to do my part and that’s what I try to do. It means the world to me to be part of this,” said David.

Ron Bunch is President and Chief Executive Officer of the Chamber. Bunch said it wasn’t easy choosing one volunteer per category.

“It’s not just the time spent it’s the difference made, and we have some individuals that have made some amazing difference in each of those categories,” said Bunch.

Family of the award recipients packed the room from wall to wall, many of them coming from far away to celebrate their loved ones.

This year the Chamber awarded Monica Wardlow the volunteer of the year award, and she was very emotional as her family surprised her at the ceremony.

“I am so blessed. I’m so honored and so blessed to have such a wonderful family that supports me in anything and everything that I do. As you can tell it got me by surprise, because they’ve traveled from all over to be here today,” said Wardlow.

Wardlow helped with the Chamber’s latest initiative SCK Launch, a program that partners local businesses with K-12 schools. Bunch said that Wardlow helps out in many ways.

“Monica Wardlow that was recognized today, she participates in our board meetings. She’s also an ambassador, she’s also involved in all of our SCK launch activities. She’s very passionate in her engagement with young people. A lot of things she does with us she just brings that passion,” said Bunch.

The Chamber’s main goal is to help both large and small businesses thrive in Bowling Green and the surrounding area. The work of volunteers like Julie Huntsman, who won the ambassador of the year award, includes supporting The Chamber in it’s efforts to give back to the Bowling Green community.

“The Chamber I think is really important because it brings new businesses and it helps our small business too. Without those two things, Bowling Green wouldn’t be thriving like they are today,” said Huntsman.