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Worthington Area Chamber of Commerce hosts annual meeting

Jami Cummings (right) receives the Kiwanis International Robert P. Connelly Medal of Heroism Friday night during the Worthington Area Chamber of Commerce and Convention and Visitors Bureau annual meeting. At left is award presenter John Standafer; in the center are two members of the family that Cummings aided in her life-saving effort this past summer.1 / 4
Orville Lien (left) is greeted by Ken Moser after Lien was announced as the winner of the Community Service Award during the Worthington Area Chamber of Commerce and Convention and Visitors Bureau annual meeting2 / 4
Jacki Dawson (right) is presented with the Friend of Education Award on Friday during the Worthington Area Chamber of Commerce and Convention and Visitors Bureau.3 / 4
David Hartzler, 2012 Chairman of the Chamber and CVB board, speaks.4 / 4

WORTHINGTON -- Longtime Worthington businessman Orville Lien was recognized Friday night by the Worthington Area Chamber of Commerce and Convention and Visitors Bureau for his many contributions to the area.

Another highlight of the Chamber's annual meeting, hosted at BenLee's Cafe, came when Worthington Noon Kiwanis Vice President John Standafer presented Brewster resident Jami Cummings with the Robert P. Connelly Medal of Heroism, an award from Kiwanis International that members of Worthington's Noon Kiwanis and Early Risers Kiwanis groups collaborated to submit.

Ken Moser of Schwalbach Ace Hardware presented Lien with the Community Service Award, which has been presented since 1973 in recognition of an individual who has given many years of service toward the improvement of the Worthington community.

Lien, a World War II Navy vet, moved from California to Worthington with his family in 1950.

Upon purchasing Thorsness Hardware at that time, he renamed it Lien Electric. Sixty years later, he still reports to work at his place of business.

"I'd never heard of Worthington before I came here, but I've been enjoying my time here," Lien said Friday night.

In the community, Lien served as post commander for the American Legion. He played a large role in the purchasing and remodeling of the former post location on Oxford Street.

Moser said that for numerous years Lien was part of "Y's Men," a foundation group of the Worthington Area YMCA that supports physical operations and fundraising activities. Lien participated in activities like selling watermelons from door to door, soda during Turkey Day, and Christmas trees during the holiday season in an effort to provide the indoor pool at the former YMCA location.

Cummings, meanwhile, was honored for her act of heroism when she saved a mother-daughter pair from drowning in Lake Okabena last August. Both mother and daughter were present during the award ceremony.

"I'm really thankful for God and for Jami for saving us," the mother said through an interpreter.

Standafer explained that in light of Cummings' act, an organization through Kiwanis will be offering "Swimming with Jami Cummings" with funds raised from Money collected from this year's Deep Freeze Dip. "Swimming with Jami Cummings" will provide all second-graders across Nobles County with two weeks of swim lessons.

As the night of community appreciation continued, Mick's Repair received the Worthington Hospitality Award for the third time. Every year, the Chamber recognizes a local business that excels in customer service.

"The action must demonstrate the recipient's willingness to go the extra miles in order to achieve complete customer satisfaction," said Standafer, who presented the award.

Mick's Repair received a letter commending two employees for their commitment to customer service.

"Thank you does not express our deepest appreciation to each individual. ... If we ever do get another flat tire, I hope we're at Mick's Repair," read part of the letter, which was submitted as a letter to the editor in the Daily Globe.

Also honored during the night was Worthington Police Officer Jacki Dawson, who received the Friend of Education award.

Readers may reach Daily Globe reporter Ana Anthony at 376-7321.