It was hot. It was sticky. But still it was fun for members of the Chester Business Association (CBA) who attended the group’s annual picnic last week. Each year the CBA holds their annual cookout at the home of local businessman, Jim Daniels.
As members took in the wide view of the James River, two annual awards were presented; one to a local businessperson and the other to a community volunteer.
Jeff and Julia Bowman, owners of Commonwealth Photography in Chester were presented the Snead/Stebbens Founder Award, and Mike Leatherwood was presented the Betty Matthews Chester Quality of Life Award.
“Commonwealth Photography stimulates and gives back to the community in many ways,” said Kristi Higgins, who presented the award. “On June 5, ASK [Association for the Support of Children with Cancer] presented Jeff and Julia with the Children’s Champion Award for their work with Kourageous Kids.”
The Bowman’s hosted seven Village Holiday Socials featuring everything Christmas including a petting zoo, a singing group, clowns and magicians, even Santa arriving in a horse pulled carriage.
“We were proud of our Ladies Night Out event because many local businesses have a chance to showcase their businesses to other women,” said Mr. Bowman.
Mike Leatherwood, who owned Country Style Ice Cream for 10 years, received the Betty Matthews Chester Quality of Life Award. Leatherwood has been active in the community for many years; not only sitting on several community boards but working for them as well.
“He has probably been one of the hardest workers for ChesterFest each year,” said Chester Community Association president Elliott Fausz. “He’s very organized and is able to motivate all our other volunteers.”
The presentation of the Betty Matthews award was started in 2010 and Matthews, who was the first recipient, was in attendance. She made a point of giving Leatherwood a big hug and thanking him for all his hard work with the Chesterfield Center for the Arts Foundation, of which he is a board member.