SUN CITY CENTER — New Sun City Center Chamber of Commerce Chairman Fran Fabbro set the tone for an evening of recognition, anticipation, and congratulations with the theme of "Building Bigger, Growing Stronger for our Future."
Fabbro, who assumed her duties during the Jan. 13 dinner, said "a strong chamber makes a strong community."
The chamber honored its members at its annual banquet and awards dinner at the Renaissance Country Club. Fabbro, a vice president of Encore Bank, offered an enthusiastic speech as she took over for outgoing chair Cedrick Wilson of ServiceMaster 24 Hour.
Chamber CEO Dana Dittmar followed, expressing appreciation for her role.
"For the sixth year in a row, I'm so thrilled, honored, blessed and humbled to be standing here," Dittmar said. "This is the best job in the world because I get to work with the best volunteers, the best board of directors, and the best chamber members in the state of Florida."
Brigadier Colin Howgill, Board Chairman of the Military Family Support Trust received the night's most prestigious award as the Community Leader of the Year. Last year's winner, Hal Jeffrey, praised Howgill for his outstanding leadership of the trust, a non-profit organization that supports military men and women and their families in many areas of need.
Howgill spearheads the fundraising efforts for this group which provides scholarships, grants, aid for homeless women vets and their children in Hillsborough County, providing guide dogs for sight-impaired vets as well as specially trained dogs for companions of vets suffering from PTSD. They also support the JROTC at local high schools.
Howgill is active in the MOWW (Military Officers of World Wars) and is a member of the MOAA (Military Officers Association of America) and is an active member of the Tampa Bay Community of Foreign Relations.
The Frank King Volunteer of the Year award, named for the late exemplary volunteer, went to Larry Brigant. King's widow, Mary, and previous winner Margaret DeLuca presented the award to Brigant.
Other award winners included Jeanne Burkeson of Square One Home Inspections (Ambassador of the Year), Jim Severn of ACN Telecommunications (New Member of the Year), Sun City Center Emergency Squad (Non-Profit of the Year), and Encore Bank (Business of the Year).
Contact Kathy Straub at [email protected]