• One bodacious bash in Blue Springs

  • The evening started out as Bill’s Bodacious Beach Bash.

    But, by its end, the occasion was just as much Betty’s Bodacious Beach Bash.

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  • The evening started out as Bill’s Bodacious Beach Bash.
    But, by its end, the occasion was just as much Betty’s Bodacious Beach Bash.
    The Blue Springs Chamber of Commerce’s annual banquet Friday evening – named for the incoming board chairman, Bill Fickle with Side Pockets – featured beach- and luau-themed decorations as “a fun and totally different dinner” at Adams Pointe Conference Center, the program stated.
    The tongue-twister, B-based name took on a different spin when the evening concluded with the announcement of Betty Meyer as the 2012 Outstanding Citizen of the Year, an honor that completely took her by surprise.
    Betty started teaching at Blue Springs schools in 1960, when the city’s population was roughly 2,500 residents. Now, she says, 50,000 people call Blue Springs home, “and I still enjoy teaching lots and lots of Girl Scouts every summer.”
    “It’s a great place to live,” says the 73-year-old Meyer, who still goes into work at Meyer Music every day. “I was (surprised) – I thought, ‘I’m too old for this! They’re not going to do that.’”
    All five of the 2012 Outstanding Citizen award nominees this year were women. The Blue Springs Women’s Civic Club nominated Betty Meyer for the honor, and the 2011 Outstanding Citizen of the Year, retired Parks Department Director Roscoe Righter, read the biographies of the nominees.
    In 1960, Betty began her teaching career in Blue Springs at Hansel Lowe. Six years later, Betty and her husband, Ted, opened Meyer Music. She’s served as president of the Women’s Civic Club and has been an active member of the Blue Springs Chamber for 46 years.
    Betty continues to provide free summer piano lessons for Kansas City area Girl Scouts. She’s served on the St. Mary’s Medical Center Auxiliary, as well as being a major contributor to St. Mary’s fundraising efforts for many years.
    Betty also was the first woman ever elected to the board of directors of the National Association of Music Merchants. In 2007, she received the Distinguished Music Alumna Award from the University of Central Missouri Department of Music.
    Righter counted to three, and then those who voted on the Outstanding Citizen called out the winner. Betty Meyer’s acceptance speech was brief: “Thank you guys so much. I thought, ‘It’s great to be nominated,’ but to win? That’s great! Thank you so much. I appreciate it.”
    Two other significant awards also were given Friday evening, including the 2012 Connector of the Year Award to Ron Durant, president and chief marketing strategist at e-NERTIA Marketing. Connectors volunteers their time for sales and marketing efforts, which includes recruiting new chamber members and retaining existing members.
    Eleven businesses were nominated of the Business of the Year Award, which went to Office Products Alliance. The company’s president, Mark Whitlow, helped organize the Buy Blue Springs effort that launched in mid-2009. He said the business is actually growing across the metropolitan region because of local leaders like those in attendance at the banquet and efforts like Buy Blue Springs.
    Page 2 of 2 - “When you do spend that dollar, think about if it’s a local company or not,” Whitlow said. “I’m always going to profess that, until the day I die. It really does pay off.”
    Along with the silent auction, Bill’s Bodacious Beach Bash featured appropriately themed cuisine like a pig roast, salads and cheeseburger in paradise. Just like the annual banquet’s theme, Fickle said chamber members should approach anything they do this year with a fun attitude.
    “If you are here, obviously, you are involved, but I urge you to stay involved,” he said. “As with anything, the more you are involved, the more you get out of it.”

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