Keene Chamber of Commerce  
Christmas Light Parade & Fireworks Show is Dec. 8
November 05, 2019

A local church pastor and his staff and a longtime postal employee will lead Keene's annual Christmas parade.

Keene Church Senior Pastor James Winegardner and his administrative team are grand marahals and retired postal clerk June Hollis is the parade marshal for the 24th annual Keene Christmas Light Parade and Fireworks Show that begins at 6:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 8 in Keene.

Parade staging is at the Leiske-Pultar Gymnasium parking lot at Old Betsy Road and Magnolia Street on the campus of Southwestern Adventist University.

Anything with wheels or feet, adorned with Christmas lights and is consistent with the theme, “The Reason We Celebrate This Season,” is welcome to participate.

Winegardner received the 2019 Keene Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the Year Award that recognizes an individual who has been a model citizen and given dedicated and extensive service to individuals, organizations and the community on a continued basis. The 3,000-member Keene Adventist Church operates the Keene Community Food Bank, Kids Eat Free backpack program with Keene ISD, a clothing outlet for needy families, senior health programs, a program that provides a car shuttle anywhere within 10 miles of Keene for those who need to be transported to a doctors visit or grocery store, family campouts, countless Bible studies, water giveaways in needy areas, all organized by volunteers and attended by hundreds who have a new positive, can-do, outlook.

Hollis received the Keene chamber's Pioneer Award that recognizes an individual or organization whose long-ago contributions and influence helped make Keene what it is today.Hollis moved to Keene in 1956 and served 37 years with the Keene Post Office, serving five postmasters and training all of them, to the extent that Keene residents considered her the postmaster. 

Parade registration

Parade registration deadline is 5 p.m. Friday, Dec. 6. Registration forms are available at: Keene City Hall, 1000 N, Old Betsy Road; General Insurance Service, 100 S. Old Betsy Road; City Station Cafe, 108 S. Old Betsy Road, or the Keene chamber office at 110 S. Old Betsy Road.

Parade entry fee is any two sets of the following items:

Ramen Noodles (Box of 6), Fruit Juice (Box of 4-6), Fruit Cups (4-6 pack), Apple Sauce (4-6 pack), Oatmeal (instant) - 1 box, Mac and Cheese 1 box, Ravioli/Spahettios - 2 cans, Cereal - box of 6 (individual), Cereal/Fruit Boxes - Box of 6, and Mixed Veggies - 2 cans.

The food items should be turned in at the registration desk.

The fireworks show will immediately follow the parade. The show will be presented west of the Duck Pond at Callicott Student Park. The best place to watch the fireworks is from the Leiske-Pultar parking lot or the embankment along Old Betsy Road between Magnolia and Campus Drive.

Judging of entries

Parade Entrants who want to be judged and be eligible for prizes should meet at 5 p.m. in the Leiske-Pultar parking lot. Judging begins at 5:15 p.m.

All entrants should enter the gymnasium parking lot at the north entrance, not on Magnolia Street.

Parade route

The parade starts at the Leiske-Pultar parking lot and goes west on Magnolia to Old Betsy Road, south on Old Betsy to Hillcrest, east on Hillcrest to Mockingbird, south on Mockingbird to Fourth, west on Fourth to Old Betsy, and north on Old Betsy back to the Leiske-Pultar parking lot.

 Entry awards

 First-place trophies will be awarded in the following categories:

■  Best lighted vehicle, ■  Best lighted float, ■  Best animal entry, ■  Best business entry, ■  Best children’s entry

■  Best Pathfinder club, ■  Best Adventurer club, ■  Best antique entry, ■  Most unique entry

One entry will be awarded Best Overall and will receive a trophy.

The parade is presented by the Keene Chamber of Commerce. 

In the event of cancellation due to inclement weather, the parade will be at 6:30 p.m. Dec. 15.

For parade entry information, call the chamber office at 817-556-2995.

James Winegardner and Keene Church staff team named Citizen of the Year
October 27, 2019

A local pastor, a longtime postal worker, a fire chief and a police chief were among those honored at the 26th annual Keene Chamber of Commerce Awards Banquet Oct. 24 at the Keene Community Center.

The event that recognizes local businesses and educators was attended by 296 people who enjoyed a meal prepared by Southwestern Adventist University food service director Chef Sualua Tupolo and a non-stop routine of laughter presented by Christian comedian Dr. Dennis Swanberg.

Keene Adventist Church Senior Pastor James Winegardner and the administrative staff team at the Keene Church were honored at Citizen of the Year.

Other honorees included: 

• Community Improvement Award: Keene Adventist Elementary School

• Community Service Award: Keene Police Chief Emmitt Jackson and Keene Fire Chief Dan Warner

• Educator of the Year Awards:

• Pioneer Award: June Hollis

• Young Entrepreneur Award: Matt Gillin

• Phillip Sparks Helping Hands Award: Judy Miles

The Citizen of the Year Award recognizes an individual who has been a model citizen and given dedicated and extensive service to individuals, organizations and the community on a continued basis.

The 3,000-member Keene Adventist Church operates the Keene Community Food Bank, Kids Eat Free backpack program with Keene ISD, a clothing outlet for needy families, a senior exercise class, a program that provides transportation anywhere within 10 miles of Keene for those who need to be transported to a doctors visit or grocery store, family campouts, countless Bible studies, water giveaways in needy areas, all organized by volunteers and attended by hundreds who have a new positive, can-do, outlook.

The Community Improvement Award honors businesses for contributing to the beautification of the city through new buildings and/or well-manicured grounds and landscaping, thus presenting a positive image and improving the quality of life in Keene.

KAES was honored for transforming itself from a 1980s rundown to a beautiful and up-to-date campus with actual grass on the front lawn, new exterior paint job, and a complete overhaul of the interiors of two buildings, with a new much-needed gymnasium on the way.

KAES Principal Todd Coulter accepted the award.

The Community Service Award is given to an individual and/or organization who has given extensive and continued service to the community.

Jackson and Warner were recognized for being actively involved in myriad community activities while leading organizations of first responders that keep residents safe. 

The Educator of the Year Award honors one who demonstrates excellence in the classroom and goes the extra mile by being involved in the lives of students outside the classroom. This award is selected by campus educators and administrators. One educator from the each of the four public schools and one from the each of the four private schools are honored each year. 

The award is accompanied by a cash honorarium of $100 and tonight these honorariums. The awards, presented for the public schools by Keene ISD Supt. Ricky Stephens, for KAES by Principal Todd Coulter, for Chisholm Trail Academy by Principal Tommy Simons and for SWAU by Vice President for Spiritual Development Russ Laughlin were:

Keene ISD Alternative School — Wallace Sullivan

Keene High School — Tommy Kennedy

Keene Junior High School — Caitlyn Fellers

Keene Elementary School — Mari Maldonado 

Keene Adventist Elementary School — Josh Samaniego

Keene Adventist Junior High School — Cheryl Blackburn

Chisholm Trail Academy is Debera Hall

Southwestern Adventist University is Jared Wood

The Pioneer Award recognizes an individual or organization whose long-ago contributions and influence helped make Keene what it is today.

The award was presented to June Hollis, who moved to Keene in 1956 and served 37 years with the Keene Post Office, serving five postmasters and training all of them, to the extent that Keene residents considered her the postmaster. During this time she was also appointed to the City Council to fulfill an unexpected opening.

The Young Entrepreneur Award is presented to a young business person who has made a commitment to Keene.

This year’s honoree,Matt Gillin, grew up in Keene and graduated from Chisholm Trail Academy and then from Hill College Fire Training Academy, joining the fire department in Keene, where he became chief in 2008. 

Medical challenges caused him to resign in 2017 but he accepted a business challenge when he purchased Zimmerman’s Paint & Supply, a company that had been in business in Cleburne since 1913, and relocated it to Keene in what was unproductive space next to Hoops Automotive, thus putting a new business on the tax rolls and providing a new service.

Phillip Sparks Helping Hands Award, honors an individual who provides continued assistance without seeking compensation or recognition.

This year’s honoree, Judy Miles, joined the Southwestern Adventist University family in July of 1979 and formally retired in 2014 after 35 years of teaching in the Business and Computer Science Departments; however, her love for the University and its students keeps her teaching in the classroom to this day.    

Understanding the financial struggles of students living off campus, she launched a student food bank two years ago, volunteering her time and energy to keeping University students well-fed.

In the photos below, courtesy of Jessica Pounds and the Cleburne Times Review, from top to bottom, are:

• Fire Chief Dan Warner and Police Chief Emmitt Jackson with the Community Service Award

• Pioneer Award recipient June Hollis receives the award from Bugger Putnam

• Kevin Sellers, left, presents the Young Entrepreneur Award to Matt Gillin

• James Winegardner received the Citizen of the Year Award from past honoree Gwen Beeson

Rosser Funeral Home foursome wins golf tournament
September 09, 2019

The foursome representing Rosser Funeral Home carded an 18-under-par 54 to win the 3rd annual Texas Health Huguley Hospital and Keene Chamber of Commerce Golf Invitational tournament held Sept. 6 at Southern Oaks Golf & Tennis Club in Burleson. 

The event was also financially supported by Ulrich Barn Builders, Callahan & Freeman Architects, Pinnacle Bank, Speed FabCrete, General Insurance Service, Town Hall Estates and Cleburne Ford.

The Rosser quartet was Perry Rosser, Chad Johnson, Shane Kimberling and Jason Williams. Johnson also won one of the four closest-to-the-pin contests.

The team of Jason Nash, Ricky Neiman, Kenneth Rose and Zeeshawn Siddiqui, one of two teams representing Texas Health Huguley Hospital, won second place with a 15-under-par 57. Nash also won the longest drive contest.

The foursome representing United Cooperative Services — Ryan Jamison, Kade Kincannon, Jeff Pannell and Chris White, finished in third place with a 59, 13 shots under par. Pannell also won a closest-to-the-pin contest, as did Zane Hackler and Jonathan Kerby.

Seventeen teams participated. They were: Ag Texas Farm Credit Services, Callahan & Freeman Architects/Speed FabCrete, City of Keene, Classic of Cleburne, Cleburne Ford, Cleburne Railroaders Baseball Club, General Insurance Service, Johnson County Sheriff's Office, KTH Transportation, Keene Economic Development, Pinnacle Bank, Rosser Funeral Home, Southwestern Union Conference, Texas Conference, Texas Health Huguley Hospital and United Cooperative Services.

Om the photos below are the Rosser Funeral Home team of, from left, Shane Kimberling, Jason Williams, Chad Johnson and Perry Rosser.

The other photo is Jeff Pannell of United Cooperative Services, one of four closest-to-the-pin winners.

 

Contact Us
Keene Chamber of Commerce
110 S. Old Betsy Road
Keene, Texas 76059
(817) 556-2995
 
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Upcoming Events
Christmas Light Parade & Fireworks Show
December 08, 2019 at 6:30 p.m.
Welcome to Keene, Texas

Keene offers visitors and residents the charm and warm hospitality of small-town life at its best combined with easily available modern conveniences and amenities. Located 30 minutes south of Fort Worth, Keene has it all: a mild four-season climate, recreational opportunities, a large University, award-winning schools, myriad of cultural and social activities, affordable cost-of-living, and a thriving and prosperous business community.

The Keene Chamber of Commerce has been serving Keene since 1993. We strive to partner with local businesses, government and education to support a favorable economic environment. The Chamber represents business, organization, and individual members who depend on the Chamber for member services including networking events, community and business development, ribbon cuttings, growth opportunity reports, economic data gathering, business referrals, business seminars, relocation packets, and being an advocate with governmental and regulatory bodies. These are among the many services we provide to our members.

The Keene Chamber's objective is to provide a platform from which our members can enhance their business or organization through networking and programs designed to improve their bottom-line and to make available the tools necessary to excel as the economy improves. Our mandate is to pursue opportunities in the areas of retail development and education. We will work diligently to ensure that our local economy is strong and vibrant.

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