Custer is full of award winners

The stars were out last Thursday evening in Custer State Park, as the Custer Area Chamber of Commerce held its annual awards banquet to wrap up another year of tourism while honoring the people in town who continue to make a difference.
We congratulate all of this year’s winners, which of course can be found in the pages of this week’s Chronicle. All of the winners are more than deserving, and some have been contributing to the town for decades, such as those like Don Kraus, who has had his hand in a variety of volunteer activities throughout the years. Unfortunately, Don couldn’t be at the meeting, as the weather had seen him get stuck in Reliance. We’ll be sure to get a picture of Don with his plaque at an upcoming chamber function.
What these award winners possess is exactly what makes Custer so special: these are people who care about the community, love the community and want to see it succeed. More importantly, they put those wants into action by giving of their time and giving of their money to help see Custer succeed. A prime example of that is the Custer Cares team, which won the Extra Mile Award at the meeting for their work in bringing a nursing home back to Custer.
We all remember when Monument Health announced it was going to close the nursing home. Almost every person in town either thought to themselves or said out loud, “We have to have a nursing home here.” It’s one thing to think that or say that; it’s quite another to actually do something about it. For that, we say kudos to Mayor Bob Brown for getting the ball rolling in that direction and to all of the Custer Cares team members who took the ball and ran it across the goal line.
A small town is only as successful as its people. There is no lack of small, dying towns where nobody cares about the community and only cares about what they can do for themselves or how the town can benefit them. When you have a town like Custer where the movers and shakers truly care about the greater good, you have a thriving town. In this way, Custer can be looked to as an example as to what can happen when people are focused on the right things and what benefits everyone. Yes, we all want to succeed, but we also want others to succeed. A rising tide lifts all ships.
To all those who won, give yourself a round of applause. It was a great group of people selected for this year’s awards. We imagine it cannot be easy for those selecting the award-winners, as we have many deserving people in our community who deserve recognition but never seek the spotlight. You are just one of the many things that truly makes our great community special.

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