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The votes are in. Mission’s outstanding citizens for 2012 have been selected, but their identities will remain a secret until the annual banquet of the Greater Mission Chamber of Commerce next Tuesday evening at Mario’s Banquet and Conference Center.

Presentation of the citizens awards for Mr. Mission, First Lady of Mission, Man of the Year and Woman of the Year will be a major highlight of this year’s annual banquet. The Progress Times accepted nominations for the awards in September and selection committees comprised of each award’s past recipients were formed to choose this year’s honorees.

The Progress Times has presented the awards at the chamber banquet for the past seven years. Previously, the Progress Times hosted a separate banquet, called Mission Awards Showcase, to present the honorees to the community.

“This partnership between the Progress Times and the Chamber of Commerce in presenting these awards is reflective of the unity and strength of this community,” said Jim Brunson, publisher of the Progress Times. “We are pleased to work closely with Matt Ruszczak and the chamber for the betterment of the Mission area.”

The chamber’s annual banquet will be held Tuesday, Oct. 16, beginning with a reception at 6 p.m. followed by the program and dinner at 7 p.m.

Sandra Vecchio, of RV Contractors, will be installed as chamber board chairperson, having served as a board member and executive board member for 17 years. Retiring as board chairman is George Myers of Hunt Valley Development.

The 2012-13 chamber board of directors and officers will be installed at the annual chamber meeting, and the chamber will present awards for Business of the Year and recognitions of the Chamber Diplomats and others who have contributed to the success of the chamber over the past year.

The chamber staff has indicated that the event is sold out, as the venue has seating limited to 256 people.

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