Clear Lake Chamber recognizes people and businesses

On Thursday the chamber held its annual awards luncheon.

Posted: Jan 24, 2019 3:03 PM
Updated: Jan 25, 2019 8:53 AM

CLEAR LAKE, Iowa – The best of the best in Clear Lake are honored Thursday.

The Chamber of Commerce held its annual award presentation and luncheon at the Best Western Holiday Lodge. The annual meeting was originally scheduled for Tuesday was moved to Thursday because of the possible winter storm earlier in the week.

The 2018 award winners are:
- North Iowa Service Award – Mark Holt, Entrepreneur
- Education Partner of the Year – Mallory Huffman, Surf Ballroom & Museum
- Larry Luker Volunteer of the Year – Kelly Steenhard, Dean Snyder Construction Co.
- Business of the Year - Lake Theater
- First mate of the Year - Alice Hanley, Alpha Media

Built in 1890, the Lake Theater is an icon in Clear Lake. Since then a lot of work has been done to keep it alive and well. On Thursday, the current owners were recognized for their dedication to the community cornerstone. Aaron and Erin Donaldson have great childhood memories at the Lake Theater.

“The thought of it not being here for future generations didn't sit well with me,” says Aaron.

So they took it over nearly three years ago. From roof repairs, updating heating and cooling systems and a state of the art sound system, in that time the Donaldson’s have made major improvements, all so the people of Clear Lake and beyond can continue coming to this little theater. It's one reason why Lake Theater won business of the year.

“I think the Business of the Year kind of amplifies the mission statement of the city and the chamber. They are trying to make Clear Lake that shining star on the hill, somewhere people want to visit, live in and build in and to be recognized as a part of that is really an honor,” says Aaron.

Looking forward, Aaron says he is excited to be showing "Bohemian Rhapsody". Lake Theater is one of only a few single screen theaters to receive the sing-a-long version. That special event will be at 7:00 p.m. on February 1st. He says 2019 is looking to be a blockbuster year for the movie industry.

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Another sweltering summer day (Tuesday) before storms invade the week.
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