Spirit of Saint Louis Award Recipients

2022 - Mari Anne Ryder

Mari Anne Ryder--Spirit of St. Louis 2022

Mari Anne Ryder, 2022 Spirit of St. Louis Recipient

Mari Anne Ryder served as an employee of the City of Saint Louis for over twenty-five years, but her contributions to the City extended far beyond her duties. Mari Anne was always the first one to volunteer to help with any extra tasks.

You could find her almost daily taking photos of City projects, development projects, new businesses, activities and events and publicizing them on social media.

2023 Spirit of St. Louis recipient Mari Anne Ryder receives her award from 2021 Spirit of St. Louis recipient Linda Bader.

Mari Anne Ryder receives her award from Linda Bader.

Over the years she interacted with and helped out virtually every group or organization that had contact with the City.

She knew the ins and outs of every single event and volunteered at every golf outing, cruise-in and fundraiser held by the Middle of the Mitten Association for 25 years.

For a more complete description of her service to the community, click here.

Annually, the Middle of the Mitten Association presents this award to the "Citizen of the Year" in St. Louis. 

The public is invited to nominate candidates in the spring for the previous year.

2021 - Linda Bader

linda bader spirit of st louis

Linda Bader, 2022 Spirit of St. Louis Recipient

Annually, the Middle of the Mitten Association presents this award to the "Citizen of the Year" in St. Louis.  It is presented at the Gratiot Area Chamber of Commerce Annual Community Celebration during the first week of May. 

 
The public is invited to nominate candidates in the spring for the previous year. The nomination period for 2023 concluded on March 17, 2023. To view a copy of the standard nomination form, please CLICK HERE.
 
Past & Present Spirt of St. Louis Recipients

From left to right, Spirit of St. Louis Recipients: George Kubin (1989), Melissa Allen (2019), Linda Bader (2021), Jane Keon (2010), Jim Kelly (2015)

2019 - Melissa Allen

Melissa Allen

Annually, the Middle of the Mitten Association presents this award to the "Citizen of the Year" in St. Louis.  It is presented at the Gratiot Area Chamber of Commerce Annual Community Celebration during the first week of May. 

 
The public is invited to nominate candidates in the spring for the previous year.

 

2018 - Ron Salladay

Ron Salladay 2018 winner

Annually, the Middle of the Mitten Association presents this award to the "Citizen of the Year" in St. Louis.  It is presented at the Gratiot Area Chamber of Commerce Annual Community Celebration during the first week of May. 

 
The public is invited to nominate candidates in the spring for the previous year.

 

2017 - Judy Root

430 1 Judy(1)

Annually, the Middle of the Mitten Association presents this award to the "Citizen of the Year" in St. Louis.  It is presented at the Gratiot Area Chamber of Commerce Annual Community Celebration during the first week of May. 

 
The public is invited to nominate candidates in the spring for the previous year.

 

2016 - Phil Maxwell

An image of Phil Maxwell with his award surrounded by family members.

Phil Maxwell (center) with his award.

Annually, the Middle of the Mitten Association presents this award to the "Citizen of the Year" in St. Louis.  It is presented at the Gratiot Area Chamber of Commerce Annual Community Celebration during the first week of May. 

 
The public is invited to nominate candidates in the spring for the previous year.

 

Middle of the Mitten Association

St. Louis’s branch of the Gratiot Area Chamber of Commerce, the Middle of the Mitten Association, is dedicated to improving the business climate in the St. Louis area as well as to support community events.

28 Sep

Farmers' Market

2:00 PM - 6:00 PM

5 Oct

Farmers' Market

2:00 PM - 6:00 PM

6 Oct

Middle of The Mitten Association

The Middle of the Mitten Association meets the 2nd Tuesday of every month at 12:15 p.m. in Council Chambers in City Hall. The public is encouraged to attend and participate.

The Middle of the Mitten Association is a long-time member of the Michigan Festival & Events Association.

Middle of the Mitten Association Sponsored and Supported Activities

  • Middle of the Mitten Community Golf Outing
  • Joe Scholtz Memorial Fishing Derby
  • Fourth of July Celebration and Fireworks
  • Old US-27 Motor Tour
  • Small Town Family Christmas Parade and Reception

Additional projects that the Mitten has supported include:

  • Downtown St. Louis Murals
  • Memorial Day Parade and flags
  • T.A. Cutler Memorial Library events
  • St. Louis Area Historical Society projects
  • St. Louis Downtown Street Banners
  • St. Louis Promotional Brochures
  • Annual New Business and PRIDE Awards
  • St. Louis History Books

Pride and New Business Awards

Every year the Middle of the Mitten recognizes new businesses who have opened the previous year or businesses that have changed ownership.  In addition, Chamber members who make physical improvements to their business are given Pride Awards. Industry Awards are given by Greater Gratiot Development.

Pride Awards 2021

New Business Awards 2021

  • The Blue Shamrock Pub
  • Gratiot Integrated Health Network
  • Hidden Oaks Golf Course
  • LINK Learning
  • St. Louis Schools Shark Tooth Woodshop

Industry Awards 2021

  • Jer-Den Plastics
  • Marloo Equipment
  • 1 Chinese Restaurant
  • Allen's Auto Sales
  • Black Castle Music
  • Extreme Clean 24/7 Car Wash
  • Health Central
  • Huntington Bank
  • Hutson, Inc. John Deere
  • McDonald's
  • Michigan Tire & Wheel
  • Roots Salon
  • The Yard Sale Thrift Shop

Previous Spirit of Saint Louis Award Recipients

2015 -Jim Kelly

Image of St. Louis Mayor Jim Kelly holding his Spirit of St. Louis award.

St. Louis Mayor Jim Kelly (center) with his award.

Annually, the Middle of the Mitten Association presents this award to the "Citizen of the Year" in St. Louis.  It is presented at the Gratiot Area Chamber of Commerce Annual Community Celebration during the first week of May.

 

The public is invited to nominate candidates in the spring for the previous year.

2014 - Bill Coty

A picture of 2013 Spirit of St. Louis Award recipient Chuck Oatten presenting the 2014 Spirit of St. Louis Award to recipient Bill Coty.

2013 Spirit of St. Louis Award recipient Chuck Oatten presenting the 2014 Spirit of St. Louis Award to recipient Bill Coty.

The Middle of the Mitten Association presents this award to the "Citizen of the Year" in St. Louis at the Gratiot Area Chamber of Commerce Annual Community Celebration during the first week of May.
 
The public is invited to nominate candidates in the spring for the previous year.
 

2013 - Chuck Oatten

An image of Ithaca Person of the Year George Bailey, Alma Order of the Tartan Award winner John Manzullo and Spirit of St. Louis Award recipient Chuck Oatten.

(L-R): Ithaca Person of the Year George Bailey, Alma Order of the Tartan Award winner John Manzullo and Spirit of St. Louis Award recipient Chuck Oatten.

Annually, the Middle of the Mitten Association presents this award to the "Citizen of the Year" in St. Louis.  It is presented at the Gratiot Area Chamber of Commerce Annual Community Celebration during the first week of May. 

 
The public is invited to nominate candidates in the spring for the previous year.

2012 - Corey Bailey

A photo of St. Louis winner Corey Bailey, Ithaca recipient Paul Hornak and Alma winner Harmony Nowlin. Photo Courtesy of Gratiot County Herald.

(L-R): St. Louis winner Corey Bailey, Ithaca recipient Paul Hornak and Alma winner Harmony Nowlin. Photo courtesy of Gratiot County Herald.

Annually, the Middle of the Mitten Association presents this award to the "Citizen of the Year" in St. Louis.  It is presented at the Gratiot Area Chamber of Commerce Annual Community Celebration during the first week of May. 

 
The public is invited to nominate candidates in the spring for the previous year.
 
 

2011 - Gary & Lou Irvin

A photograph of local award winners Pat Earegood, Dave Roslund, Charlie & Marlene Teegardin, Larry Mott, and Gary & Lou Irivin. Photo courtesy of the Gratiot County Herald.

(L-R): Pat Earegood, Dave Roslund, Charlie & Marlene Teegardin, Larry Mott, and Gary & Lou Irvin. Photo courtesy of the Gratiot County Herald.

The Middle of the Mitten Association presents this award to the "Citizen of the Year" in St. Louis at the Gratiot Area Chamber of Commerce Annual Community Celebration during the first week of May.
 
The public is invited to nominate candidates in the spring for the previous year.

 

 
Gary and Lou Irvin were the Spirit of St. Louis Award winners for 2011

2010 - Jane Keon

Photograph of Chamber President's Award winner Craig Zeese, Alma Tartan Award winner Duane Stacey, Spirit of St. Louis winner Jane Keon, and Ithaca Person of the Year Marci Browne.

(L-R):  Chamber President's Award winner Craig Zeese, Alma Tartan Award winner Duane Stacey, Spirit of St. Louis winner Jane Keon, and Ithaca Person of the Year Marci Browne.

Annually, the Middle of the Mitten Association presents this award to the "Citizen of the Year" in St. Louis.  It is presented at the Gratiot Area Chamber of Commerce Annual Community Celebration during the first week of May. 

 
The public is invited to nominate candidates in the spring for the previous year.
 

2009 - Norris Bay

Photograph of the local winners Sharon Fenton/Alma, Dr. Rex Rimmel/Ithaca, Norris Bay/St. Louis, and Don Schurr/Greater Gratiot Development

(L-R): Sharon Fenton/Alma, Dr. Rex Rimmel/Ithaca, Norris Bay/St. Louis, and Don Schurr/Greater Gratiot Development. Photo courtesy of Gratiot County Herald

Annually, the Middle of the Mitten Association presents this award to the "Citizen of the Year" in St. Louis.  It is presented at the Gratiot Area Chamber of Commerce Annual Community Celebration during the first week of May. 

 
The public is invited to nominate candidates in the spring for the previous year.
 

The 2009 winner was Norris Bay, pictured third from left. 

 
 

2008 - Jean Nevins

A photograph of Jean Nevins and the winner of the Tartan Award for the year.

Jean Nevins is on the right. Photo courtesy of Gratiot County Herald.

Annually, the Middle of the Mitten Association presents this award to the "Citizen of the Year" in St. Louis.  It is presented at the Gratiot Area Chamber of Commerce Annual Community Celebration during the first week of May. 

 
The public is invited to nominate candidates in the spring for the previous year.
 
To see a summary of Jean's accomplishments that was read at the presentation ceremony CLICK HERE.

2007 - Dave McMacken

A photograph of Dave and Virginia McMacken.

Dave McMacken and his wife, Virginia. Photo courtesy of Gratiot County Herald.

Annually, the Middle of the Mitten Association presents this award to the "Citizen of the Year" in St. Louis.  It is presented at the Gratiot Area Chamber of Commerce Annual Community Celebration during the first week of May. 

 
The public is invited to nominate candidates in the spring for the previous year.

 

The 2007 winner was Dave McMacken. To see a summary of Dave's accomplishments that was read at the presentation ceremony CLICK HERE.

2006 - Joe Scholtz

A photograph of the winners of the local person of the year awards, including Jan Caputo and Joe Scholtz.

(L-R): Jan Caputo, Order of the Tartan; the winner of the Ithaca Person of the Year Award; Joe Scholtz, Spirit of St. Louis.

Annually, the Middle of the Mitten Association presents this award to the "Citizen of the Year" in St. Louis.  It is presented at the Gratiot Area Chamber of Commerce Annual Community Celebration during the first week of May. 

 
The public is invited to nominate candidates in the spring for the previous year.

 

The 2006 winner was Joe Scholtz, pictured far right. To see a summary of Joe's accomplishments that was read at the presentation ceremony CLICK HERE.

List of Past Recipients

2030
2029
2028
2027
2026
2025
2024
2023
2022 - Mari Anne Ryder
2021 - Linda Bader

2020 - N/A
2019 - Melissa Allen
2018 - Ron Salladay
2017 - Judy Root
2016 - Phil Maxwell
2015 - Jim Kelly
2014 - Bill Coty
2013 - Chuck Oatten
2012 - Corey Bailey
2011 - Gary & Lou Irvin

2010 - Jane Keon
2009 - Norris Bay
2008 - Jean Nevins
2007 - Dave McMacken
2006 - Joe Scholtz
2005 - Shada Biabani
2004 - Sam Bush
2003 - Jo Ward
2002 - Maynard Peacock
2001 - Jerry Church

2000 - Phillip Raske
1999 - Dennis Collison
1998 - Jan Bunting
1997 - Jim Schwartzmiller
1996 - Bill Shrum
1995 - Larry Parsons
1994 - Brad Vibber
1993 - Craig Zeese
1992 - Don & Donna Kelley
1991 - Penny Wischmeyer

1990 - Jim Ayers
1989 - George Kubin
1988 - Linda Johnson
1989 - Leonard Johnson
1986 - Greg Seifker
1985 - Gary Goetzinger
1984 - Bill Mayes
1983 - Leroy Hubble
1982 - Charlie Brown
1981 - Eugene Nikkari

1980 - St. Louis Cheerleaders
1979 - Kenneth Barnum
1978 - Douglas McKim
1977 - Not awarded
1976 - Richard Green
1975 - Frank Starry
1974 - Dr. William Knowles
1973 - Adeline Phillips
1972 - Lucille Peckinpaugh
1971 - Tom Billig

1970 - Duane Parrott & Alan Schultz
1969 - Larry Shirely
1968 - William Dennis
1967 - Fred Carter
1966 - Chuck Touzeau