By Zach Osowski | The Herald Bulletin (see article on THB website)
Cowpokes owners Jeff and Lynette Boone and their children Gunner and Mackenzie accept the award for Small Business of the Year during the Madison County Chamber annual awards gala at Madison Park Church of God on Thursday.| Photos by Don Knight
ANDERSON — With a flurry of cowboy hats and boots, Cowpokes Work & Western lassoed the title of Small Business of the Year at the Madison County Chamber’s annual awards gala.
Jeff and Lynette Boone, owners of the western wear store, said they were shocked when the announcement was made during Thursday’s event.
“Wow, didn’t expect that,” Jeff said to a crowd of more than 400 guests at Madison Park Church of God. “We are truly honored to be a part of this.”
Cowpokes took the award over C B Fabricating, Inc. and The Edge. Boone said both were deserving of the award.
The pride of working in Anderson and Madison County was apparent from the Boones and all of the winners and nominees. On a night when the theme was being “courageous,” there were countless stories of sacrifices people and companies have made to stay in business in Madison County.
“Someone said courage is looking fear in the face and telling it ‘get the hell out of the way, I’ve got work to do,’ “ said Jahnae Erpenbach of Hoosier Park Racing & Casino. “And all of the businesses here have said that at one point or another.”
Erpenbach was given the 2014 Chairman’s Award for her work as a member of the chamber board this past year.
There were plenty of tears of gratitude from award winners.
“I grew up here and never in a million years thought I’d own a coffee shop,” an emotional Skye Huff, owner of Mugs Coffee and Tea Company, said in accepting her award for Emerging Business of the Year. | Photo by Don Knight
Skye Huff, owner of Mugs Coffee and Tea Company, was quite emotional in accepting the award for Emerging Business of the Year. Mugs took that honor over Diggidy’s Frozen Treat Factory and the Toscana Event Center.
“I don’t know what to say, I really didn’t expect this,” Huff said. “I want to thank the community for your support. I grew up here and never in a million years thought I’d own a coffee shop.”
The other big award went to the Hopewell Center as Nonprofit of the Year, topping Alternatives, Inc. and the Pendleton Community Library.
Jane Ruff, Hopewell’s executive director, said she was humbled to accept the award for Nonprofit of the Year on behalf of the Hopewell Center as the Madison County Chamber held its annual awards gala at Madison Park Church of God on Thursday. | Photo by Don Knight
Jane Ruff, Hopewell’s executive director, said she was humbled to accept the award and said it was an acknowledgement of the hard work the center’s employees do for the people they serve.
Hopewell’s primary focus is helping people with disabilities lead normal lives, but it has recently expanded to assist families with at-risk children.
“The people we help deserve to have a normal life, and we are very proud to help help them lead one,” Ruff said.
Follow Zach Osowski on Twitter @Osowski_THB, or call 640-4847.
>> View all award winners on the Madison County Chamber WALL OF FAME.