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Mundts named Persons of Year by Lowell Chamber

Last week the Lowell Area Chamber of Commerce announced the recipients of this year's Chamber Award. The awards will be presented during the annual “Winter Gathering of the Membership” dinner banquet at The Fairway, 13955 Cascade Rd., at 6 pm on Thursday, Feb. 20. This year the Person of the Year award will go to Mark and Theresa Mundt.

The Mundts moved to Lowell from Union Pier, just north of the Michigan/Indiana border, in 1989. Theresa worked as the Lowell deputy clerk and in various positions at city hall for 15 years. Mark was the superintendent of Lowell's wastewater treatment plant and worked there almost 30 years. Together, the couple have spent countless hundreds of hours volunteering for organizations and participating in events such as Flat River Outreach Ministries, the Lowell Rotary, Christmas Through Lowell, Cold Weather Warriors and Pink Arrow Pride.

“We're very honored, although we don't really feel comfortable being the center of attention,” said Mark Mundt. “It does feel good, but that is not why we volunteer. We're just an active part of the community, like a lot of people are who are making this a wonderful town. We are just doing our part.”

Theresa Mundt makes quilts from outdated Pink Arrow Pride t-shirts and donates them to Helen DeVos Children's Hospital.

“We like to volunteer,” said Theresa Mundt. “Lowell is the place to be, and we love being here. It's a great town. We dug in immediately. Where we were from was a resort town where all the Chicago people had [summer] houses. We definitely like Lowell better!”

In order to qualify for the Chamber's Person of the Year award, one must demonstrate the following qualities: "Over time, the candidate has freely donated considerable time to the community, school district, church or humanity; the community is a better place to live because of the efforts of the candidate; the candidate positively promotes the community in both word and action; the candidate possesses new and innovative ideas that benefit the community [and] the candidate cannot be a Chamber board [or] foundation board member at the time of nomination.”

Past Persons of the Year include Chris Van Antwerp, King Doyle, Dr. Orville McKay, Ivan Blough, George and Dode Dey, Dr. Robert Reagan, Al Eckman, Ray Quada, Priscillia Lussmyer, Jim Maatman, Bob Pfaller, Jim Reagan, Marsha Wilcox, John Timpson, Dr. Donald Gerard, Dr. Roger LaWarre, Bert Bleke, Judy Straub, Luanne Kaeb, Jim Doyle, Jim White, Kraig and Jody Haybarker, Ray and Barbara Zandstra, Marj Harding, Betty Yeiter, John Stencel, Dave and Jan Thompson, Joy Smith, Perry and Teresa Beachum, Noel Dean, Greg Canfield, Rick Seese, Mike Sprenger, Greg Pratt, Betsy Davidson and Carol Briggs.

Brick Awards went to Betten Baker Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram, Impact Church, Key Heights and Key Vista Communities, King Milling, McDonald’s and The Townhomes at Two Rivers. Brick Awards go to businesses that made a "capital investment" in themselves last year by improving, remodeling or rebuilding their facilities. For example, Betten Baker Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram built a new showroom, Impact Church built a massive new building and the McDonald's recently reopened after the restaurant's interior was gutted.

This year's other Chamber Awards went to River Valley Credit Union for the Business Appreciation Award, Deirdre’s Cakes and Bakes for Most Promising New Business and Kent County Youth Fair for Non-Profit Spotlight.

Deirdre's Cakes and Bakes is a custom cake and cookie business run out of a home on Cumberland Ave. Company owner Deirdre Olszewski studied baking at the Culinary Institute of Michigan in Muskegon. They provide pastries for weddings, celebrations, birthday parties, graduation parties and any other event that requires a sweet, homemade treat.

Kent County Youth Fair is in the middle of moving their operations from the middle of downtown Lowell to a golf course outside of town. This project will require a lot of cash, and the volunteers for the non-profit has been working very hard to raise these funds.

The “Winter Gathering of the Membership” is a dinner event with a cash bar, and it is open to the public. Tickets are $50 each or $390 for a table of eight. To make reservations, call the Lowell Area Chamber of Commerce at 616-897-9161 or register online at discoverlowell.org. They accept MasterCard, Visa and Discover.

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