by Madison Chamber
Community Service Award
(February 2005) Ron Marriage of Commiskey,
Ind., and Grote Industries were honored for their contributions to the
community at the Madison Area Chamber of Commerces Annual Dinner,
held Jan. 26 at Hanover College.
by Don Ward
Marriage celebrates with (from left) his daugher, Jennifer Goodwin,
son David Marriage and daughter-in-law Casie Marriage.
The sellout event, sponsored by National City Bank, drew
315 people to the colleges campus center and is largely known
as the biggest networking night of the year in Madison. Chamber president
Jeff Garrett presided over the nights events, which included the
handoff from last years chamber board president Tim Breeding of
Teton Corp. to this years president, Scott Hubbard of Arvin Sango
Marriage, 55, who operates several community websites promoting the
area, received the chambers Community Service Award, while Bill
Grote accepted the chambers Business Service Award on behalf of
his familys company, a leading manufacturer of vehicle lighting
and safety systems.
I was really surprised; I didnt expect it. But it is really
a big honor, said Marriage, who moved his family to Jefferson
County in 1985 from Terre Haute when he accepted a computer science
teaching position at Ivy Tech State College.
Marriage learned he had contracted lymphoma cancer that same year and
eventually had to cut back his work hours. He retired in 1988 but continued
to maintain several Internet websites for various nonprofit groups,
including veterans organizations. He is a U.S. Army veteran after having
spent two years in the service in the 1960s.
To battle his cancer, Marriage underwent a bone marrow transplant in
1989. Today, his illness is in remission, but he continues to suffer
from the side effects of the transplant, which included blindness. He
also lost the ability to detect colors. He underwent cataract surgery
last March and miraculously regained the ability to detect colors.
His wife, Cheryl, works at the Madison-Jefferson County Public Library
and attended the chamber dinner, along with their daughter, Jennifer
Goodwin, 29, of Greenwood, Ind., their son, David Marriage, 24, of Bedford,
Ind., and his wife, Casie, who is expecting the Marriages first
grandchild in May.
Feb. 26: Texas
March 6: Tele-Auction
April 28: Job Fair
May 15: Golf Outing
Oct. 8: Soup, Stew, Chili & Brew
Nov. 5: Business Expo
Grote, meanwhile, praised his companys 700 employees,
saying he was accepting the award on behalf of their hard work and service
to the community. The company employs another 300 people at its facilities
in Canada and Mexico.
The company was recognized for having contributed money to several community
projects, including Lamplighter Park along the Madison riverfront. They
also have contributed to numerous nonprofit organizations and events
in the county.
The Grote family has operated its company for 103 years and moved their
operation to Madison in 1960. It was founded by William Grote, and several
Grote family members hold key positions in the company.
Outgoing president Breeding recapped the chambers accomplishments
of the past year, including meeting his personal goal of increasing
chamber membership to 375 on his watch. He hands the reigns to Hubbard,
who inherits a 20-member board, a staff of five and an operating budget
that exceeds $480,000 for 2005.
The Chamber Ambassador of the Year was awarded to Linda Ralston of River
Valley Financial Bank. Wattenbarger was last years winner.
Bill Stewart, who was absent, won the $2,500 cash prize in the reverse
draw, a new event instituted last year as a chamber fund raiser.
Back to February 2005