Heber Springs volunteers honored with banquet for their service

By Caroline Zilk Published November 20, 2011 at 3:17 a.m.
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— When former Arkansas Razorback player and radio personality David Bazzel found out a Heber Springs Chamber of Commerce banquet he was invited to was all about volunteerism, he said he was happy to be the guest speaker.

“Volunteerism is a very cool thing,” he said. “I have heard about the cardboard boat race, but I didn’t know it had been going on for 25 years. That is remarkable.”

Bazzel was the keynote speaker at the chamber’s volunteer banquet Nov. 10 that honored volunteers throughout the community.

Bazzel shared stories from his time as a Razorback and said he often spent time volunteering at nursing homes and “kids’ places” during his time at the University of Arkansas.

He thanked the volunteers for their hard work and encouraged everyone to spend time seeing what they can do for other people.

“I have respect for people who try to do that,” he said.

Two awards were given at the annual banquet; the first, the Hidden Hero award, went to Chris Stafiej.

“She’s been affiliated with the chamber of commerce since the early ’90s and is an example of a true ambassador for Heber Springs,” Chamber President Devin McSpadden said.

Stafiej worked for the chamber in the early ’90s and has been volunteering in the office ever since. She is often the friendly voice on the other end of the phone when people call with questions. She said her favorite part of volunteering is people’s reaction when she’s able to help them.

A new award this year, The Director’s Award, was given by Chamber Director Melisa Gardner to Doug Perry, code enforcement officer for the Heber Springs Police Department. Because the Police Department is housed in the same building as the chamber, Gardner said she calls on Perry a lot for help.

“This person has always been available to help me, which is pretty often,” Gardner said of Perry. “This person dreads seeing me come through his office because it usually means something is broken.”

However, Perry is always on hand to help, Gardner said. He installs computers for the chamber and for the city and put up and removed signs for various chamber events.

Gardner said she is also glad to call Perry her friend.

For more information about how to become a volunteer, call the Heber Springs Chamber of Commerce at (501) 326-2444.

Staff writer Caroline Zilk can be reached at (501) 244-4326 or

czilk@arkansasonline.com.

River Valley & Ozark Edition Writer Caroline Zilk can be reached at 501-244-4326 or czilk@arkansasonline.com.

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