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Chamber honors the Steeds

Thursday, July 3, 2008

The Thayer Chamber of Commerce selected the Steed brothers as this year's Thayer Citizen of the Year. From left are: Chamber of Commerce Vice President Ron Cornelius, Kevin Steed, Butch Steed and Kelly Steed. They were honored at the Chamber's annual banquet June 23. Photo by Jan Thompson
THAYER -- The Thayer Chamber of Commerce held their annual banquet June 23 at Los Potrillos Restaurant.

Bob Eckman served as master of ceremonies at the banquet.

Entertainment was provided by the Overbearing Band and Sons of the Silver Dollar from Branson.

There were three new board of directors elected at the banquet. They were; Faith Holt, Ron Cornelius and LaRee Reece.

The Citizen of the Year was also announced and honored at the banquet. This year the honor went not to an individual but a family, the Steed brothers.

The Steed family has been prominent in the Thayer community for decades through the various businesses they have owned and operated. Charles and Ruby Steed have four sons who have over the years demonstrated a sincere desire to work for the betterment of the community.

Butch and Jerry Steed, the two older brothers, began a trucking business in the mid-1970s. Their younger twin brothers, Kevin and Kelly Steed entered the trucking business with them in 1993 and the band of brothers became Steed Brothers, Inc. Their trucking business has thrived since its inception and has provided them with the means by which they have made impressive improvements to the Thayer community.

They purchased the aging Beck building downtown some years ago and have revamped its exterior with paintings of famous movie stars set into the old window frames, giving the appearance of looking into the building and glimpsing echoes of the past.

They also purchased the Cooper building located on Chestnut Street above the old theater and once they remodeled the building, Kevin combined with a partner and opened a new business, 2 River Tee Company. It caters to the needs of area schools and organizations by producing custom-designed products for any occasion. There are no other businesses of its kind in the area that has the ability to produce custom-designed products for any occasion. They also have the ability to produce large quantities of customized products on short order such as when the Thayer Bobcats won the district tournament on a Saturday night and there were hundreds of shirts ready for their first state tournament game within four days.

Kelly developed an interest in photography and he began using his hobby years ago to produce impressive designs for team pictures which will forever be treasured the students and their families. As his experience increased he began to also produce portraits and take some senior pictures. He delivers quality photographs with unique settings and also gives the graduating senior and their family a DVD presentation of the photos set to music. Kelly has evidently realized that it isn't good for a man to try to maintain two jobs, so he sold the photography business and the city will miss his creative images.

Kevin took the initiative, along with others, to form a non-profit organization for the benefit of the Thayer School's athletic department. This was no easy task, but his determination and commitment to the school has culminated in the construction of a new field house for the football stadium and the Thayer Athletic Improvement Organization is continuing its efforts this summer by constructing locker rooms for the athletes so they no longer have to spend time and energy during half time to run up the hill to the locker room. "This past year was a wonderful season for our Bobcats and the timing of the building was perfect," said Thayer Chamber of Commerce Vice President Ron Cornelius. He added, "We know that this organization will continue to provide improvements to the various athletic programs of the school and has boosted our community pride in the quality of our facilities."

Butch Steed has become an icon for the Thayer Country Club Golf Course. His love for the game has benefited the community through his efforts to maintain the golf course which is unusually fine for such a small community. He has also reached out to the area youth by volunteering to share what he has learned over the years. His coaching has helped some of the youth attain skills that have led the Thayer Golf Team to state playoffs and on several occasions the teams and or individual players have finished in the top five in the state.

"Each of these gentlemen has impacted our community individually, but as a whole they are a tremendous asset and we are proud to honor them as the 2008 Citizens of the Year," Cornelius said.

The officers for the 2007-2008 Thayer Chamber of Commerce are Lisa Cates, president; Ron Cornelius, vice president; Faith Holt, secretary and Adam Courter, treasurer.

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