The annual Spring Valley Chamber of Commerce meeting was held at the Five Wynds Event Centre in Spring Valley, Minn., on Wednesday, November 16.
With more than 30 local business people and community leaders present, there was a special presentation made by Chamber President Stacey Rath.
Rath opened with, “What does Spring Valley mean to me? I have lived in this town for most of my life, born here at old Spring Valley hospital, confirmed at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church, played sports here, and graduated the Class of 1992 – the last graduating class of Spring Valley, married here, had my husband’s funeral here, and raised three amazing children while working at Kuehn Motors (now Midwest Sales) for 23 years. Been on the Chamber for 22 years, worked and been on the Kingsland Athletic Booster Club for 20 years, and Ag Days committee. People ask me all the time, ‘Don’t you ever say no, and why do you do all of this stuff?’
“I have one answer. I love Spring Valley. I love the people of this town, and the businesses that support this town. I have had many ups and downs in my life, but I will say I have always had one constant and it’s Spring Valley. I can live here, work here, raise my kids here, and know they are safe. Go to church here, and in reality there isn’t much you can’t do here and it’s all because of you. It’s the people and businesses that keep our town going,” shared Rath.
“When you look at Spring Valley, it isn’t just a Main Street. It’s a Tracker Industries on the West side of town. It’s a Hyland Motors on the East side of town. It’s a school and Good Earth Village on the North side of town. It’s a Hardware Hank on the South side. We continue to grow every year. We remain prosperous and we support each other,” Rath continued. “We can start with Tracker Industries that is constantly growing. Matt’s Body Shop that is adding on as we speak. Penz Chevrolet is building a brand new site. The new site of the Spring Valley Veterinary Clinic. Midwest Sales is adding a car wash and service center. O’Reilly’s is going in the old Ace Hardware building. Minnwest Bank is moving into the old Kwik Trip. And, a new brewery is going into the old veterinary clinic building.”
Toward the conclusion of Stacey Rath’s presentation, she highlighted one individual who has been a tremendous representative of the Spring Valley community.
“On that note, speaking of good people and someone that also loves Spring Valley, I want to recognize a man who has given his heart to Spring Valley. If a kid needs a fishing pole, all they have to do is go to the bait shop and he will set them up,” praised Rath.
The Spring Valley resident recognized as the 2022 Volunteer of the Year is Steve “Springy” Volkart.
As Rath indicated, “Springy is such an asset to Spring Valley. He is kind and caring, and is always willing to help out when asked. And, he wants no recognition or attention for his kindness. He is a great supporter of Ag Days, the Spring Valley Chamber and other organizations. During Ag Days, he has his kids fishing contest that is a huge success, his bobber race that is always a great turnout, and he is always willing to donate to a good cause. The S & S Bait Shop is such a huge asset to our community. It is the to go place for information. It is the local hangout for young and old. People enjoy going there because of Springy.”
For more than 36 years, Springy has owned and operated S & S Bait Shop, overlooking Spring Valley Creek on the south end of the downtown area. Along with owning the town’s bait shop, Springy also works at Sunshine Foods in Spring Valley, Minn.
The Spring Valley Area Chamber of Commerce initiated the Volunteer of the Year award recognition in 2017.
The list of recipients includes: Joe and Patty O’Connell (2017), Rita Harter (2018), David Phillips (2019), No recipient due to COVID for 2020, and Cody Koebke and Justin Mlinar (2021).
According to Rath, the criteria for Volunteer of the Year award recognition “is any active community member that shares their time and talents with making our Spring Valley community a great place to live.”
Spring Valley business leaders continue to coordinate events and projects that help bring the community together. To learn more about the Spring Valley Area Chamber of Commerce, please visit https://springvalleychamberofcommerce.com/.