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a voluntary council of local governments
serving the missouri meramec area.

Three outstanding volunteers from Gasconade County honored at MRPC annual dinner in Hermann

For immediate release

For more information, contact
Bonnie Prigge or Caitlin Jones

ST. JAMES—Three Gasconade County volunteers were honored during the Meramec Regional Planning Commission’s (MRPC) annual dinner Oct. 25 at the Hermann Hill Wedding and Convention Center, Hermann.  This year, Chuck Hartbauer of Hermann, Shelby Uffmann and Ruth Rebmann, both of Owensville were honored for their outstanding community service. Ten other individuals were honored at the dinner as well.

Hartbauer receives outstanding volunteer award.
Chuck Hartbauer was honored at Meramec Regional Planning Commission’s Annual Dinner Oct. 25 at Hermann Hill Wedding and Conference Center for his efforts establishing the Veteran’s Parkway. MRPC Vice Chairman Larry Miskel (left) and Chairman Marvin Wright presented the plaque to Hartbauer. Hartbauer was nominated by Gasconade County Presiding Commissioner Larry Miskel and Hermann City Administrator Mark Wallace (right).

Hartbauer, nominated by Gasconade County Presiding Commissioner Larry Miskel and Hermann City Administrator Mark Wallace, was honored as an outstanding volunteer for his efforts in the creation of the Veteran’s Parkway, a tribute in the middle of Market Street to those who served in our nation’s military conflicts. Not only did Hartbauer coordinate the effort to create the parkway by raising thousands of dollars in donations and in-kind labor, but he is instrumental in maintenance and landscaping of the area on almost a daily basis.

Uffmann and Rebmann, nominated by Mayor of Owensville John Kamler, were honored as outstanding volunteers for their work creating a tree program for the city of Owensville. In 2009 all the pine trees along Highway 28 in Memorial Park were taken down for a utility upgrade. At the same time, it was becoming obvious that oak trees in the park were beginning to die. Uffmann took it on herself to apply for a Conservation Department grant and, with that grant, 60 trees were planted mostly along Highway 28. In 2014, Rebmann joined the efforts and the two wrote a second grant to replace the dying oaks in Memorial Park and the Bradford Pears in the Owensville Cemetery. With the second grant, an additional 48 trees were planted. In 2015, the two started a small tree nursery to grow trees in pots, and in 2017, they planted 90 of those trees. Uffmann and Rebmann now have an ongoing plan to get young trees from the Conservation Department each year and plant them on public land in Owensville.

Other individuals recognized by MRPC for contributions to their communities were:

  • Tim and Anna Long of Belle, nominated by Maries County Presiding Commissioner Ray Schwartze;
  • Kathy Speichinger of Belle, nominated by MRPC Board Member Steve Vogt;
  • Lucy Brenner of Morrison, nominated by MRPC Board Member Jan Haviland;
  • Denise Seevers of Dixon, nominated by Mayor of Waynesville Luge Hardman;
  • Sean Hackmann of Chamois, nominated by Mayor of Chamois Elise Brochu; and
  • Gerald “Jerry” W. West (posthumously) of Potosi, nominated by MRPC Board Member Janey Radford.

Youth Volunteers:

  • Payden Woodruff, daughter of Michael Woodruff and Kisha Woodruff of Belle, nominated by MRPC Board Member Steve Vogt; and
  • Max Thierry, son of Craig and Merry Thierry of Belle, nominated by MRPC Board Member Steve Vogt.

The Eugene E. Northern award, the highest honor given by MRPC for volunteers and community service, was presented to Michael Dunbar of Waynesville. He was nominated by Waynesville Mayor Luge Hardman and St. Robert Mayor George Lauritson. Dunbar retired from the U.S. Army and has served the community by taking a leadership role with the Waynesville/St. Robert Chamber of Commerce, serving on numerous boards, and a strong commitment the Fort Leonard Wood area. As chair of the Missouri Military Preparedness and Enhancement Commission, his influence is felt from Jefferson City to Washington D.C. As a founding member and past president of the Sustainable Ozarks Partnership, Mike has worked tirelessly to enhance the position of Fort Leonard Wood as a premier training facility in the military.

The Maries County Bank was honored with Meramec Regional Development Corporation’s Lender of the Year award. Mark Hayes, senior vice president, accepted the award on its behalf.

Four staff members were recognized at the 2018 awards banquet for years of service: Elaine Cloyde, housing program coordinator for Crawford County with MRPC, received her award for 30 years of service; Tammy Snodgrass, assistant director and environmental programs manager, received her award for 25 years of service; Chuck Cantrell, housing inspector, received his award for 20 years of service; and Larry Blevins, maintenance technician, received his award for 15 years of service. Caitlin Jones, marketing and communications coordinator, was honored as MRPC’s employee of the year. Jones joined MRPC in December 2016.

The night included a reception that began at 5:30, featuring a Taste of Hermann event showcasing food and drinks from Hermann businesses. A silent auction, which raised over $1,287 to offset the costs of the dinner, was held during the reception. Some 171 individuals were in attendance at the dinner.

“Our Annual Dinner is the highlight of our year, as our board takes great pleasure in honoring some very deserving volunteers across our region, recapping some of the great projects that have occurred in our communities and taking a look at the contributions MRPC, as an organization, has made to our cities and counties,” said Bonnie Prigge, MRPC executive director.  “We really appreciate the hospitality, provided by the city of Hermann and Gasconade County, our hosts, and a special thank you to Terry Hammer and his staff for all their hard work to deliver a top-notch location for our evening. The support from the Hermann business community was amazing. It was certainly a great evening.”

Formed in 1969, MRPC is a voluntary council of governments serving Crawford, Dent, Gasconade, Maries, Osage, Phelps, Pulaski and Washington counties and their respective cities. Marvin Wright serves as Chairman of the board. A professional staff of 25 offers technical assistance and services, such as grant preparation and administration, housing assistance, transportation planning, environmental planning, ordinance codification, business loans and other services to member communities.

To keep up with the latest MRPC news and events, visit the MRPC website at www.meramecregion.org or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/meramecregion/.

13 outstanding volunteers honored at MRPC annual dinner
Front Row: Lindsey Jarvis (daughter of Jerry West), Brenda West (wife of Jerry West), Tim and Anna Long, Shelby Uffmann, Ruth Rebmann, Kathy Speichinger, Lucy Brenner, and Denise Seever. Back Row: Chris West (son of Jerry West), Mark Hayes with Maries County Bank, Chuck Hartbauer, Sean Hackmann, Craig and Merry Thierry accepting on behalf of son Max Thierry and Michael Dunbar. Not Pictured: Michael Woodruff and Kisha Woodruff, accepting on behalf of daughter Payden Woodruff.


Featured image at the top cutline:

Shelby Uffmann and Ruth Rebmann.JPG – Shelby Uffmann and Ruth Rebmann were honored at Meramec Regional Planning Commission’s Annual Dinner Oct. 25 at Hermann Hill Wedding and Conference Center for their efforts establishing a tree program for the city of Owensville. MRPC Vice Chairman Larry Miskel (left) and Chairman Marvin Wright presented the plaques to Uffmann and Rebmann. Owensville Mayor John Kamler (right) nominated the ladies for the award.