MRPC News Release

For immediate release
Oct. 31, 2016

For more information,contact: 
Bonnie Prigge at (573) 265-2993

MRPC honors Hofstetter for volunteer work

CRAWFORD COUNTY—Crawford County resident Carol Hofstetter of Bourbon was honored for her volunteer services during Meramec Regional Planning Commission’s (MRPC) 2016 Annual Dinner on Oct. 20 at the Belle-Bland Community Center in Belle. The organization also honored 11 additional volunteers and service organizations for their contributions to communities during the event.

Each year, MRPC honors residents of the eight-county Meramec Region who volunteer their time, talents and support to their communities and charitable causes.

The MRPC External Relations committee selects award winners after being nominated by an MRPC board member. Mary Heywood, MRPC board member, nominated Hofstetter for the award.

Hofstetter is vice president of Town and Country Bank and has been an integral part of the Bourbon community for many years. She has served 12 years on the Bourbon School Board, has a Masters of School Board certificate; is treasurer of the Bourbon Boosters, the Bourbon Development Association and the Bourbon Athletic Association.

She has organized and run the Bourbon Chili Cook-off for several years, earning thousands of dollars for school projects. She is in charge of the booster’s awards dinner, seniors’ Christmas dinner, Junior Miss Contest, Project Graduation and the outdoor food for Fall Festival. She is the “go to” person in Bourbon and is always willing to help.

MRPC’s highest honor––the Eugene E. Northern award––was presented to Hermann resident Betty Hartbauer. The Northern award is given to a volunteer who demonstrates lifelong community service. Northern, a former Rolla Mayor, was a Missouri circuit judge who was dedicated to his community and went beyond the call of duty.

Hartbauer is currently president of three different organizations that either preserve or perpetuate the city of Hermann’s German heritage, including the Historic Hermann, Inc., which is headquartered in the historic German school building and museum, Hermann Maifest Committee, where she coordinates annual festivals that include 30 vendors or more and the local Wall Dog chapter, where she coordinates professional artists, both local and from the entire Midwest, paint retro advertising murals. Hartbauer has demonstrated leadership and enhance tourism through her untiring efforts within the community.

Others honored include:

    • Barb Schaller of Belle, nominated by Maries County Presiding Commissioner Ray Schwartze and Belle Mayor Steve Vogt;
    • Mark McClane of Belle, nominated by Osage County Commissioner Dave Dudenhoeffer and Belle Mayor Steve Vogt;
    • Carma Labbee of Potosi, nominated by Debby Bust, MRPC board member;
    • Ronald Hoffman of Linn, nominated by the Osage County Commission;
    • Owensville M.O.B. (Making Owensville Better), nominated by John Kamler, Owensville mayor;
    • Pulaski Young Marines of Waynesville, nominated by Luge Hardman, Waynesville mayor;
    • Betty Layman, nominated by Crocker Mayor James Morgan, and
    • Leo Dickey of Belgrade, nominated by John M. Robinson, III, Caledonia mayor.
    The youth volunteers were:
    • Evan Thierry, nominated by Maries County Presiding Commissioner Ray Schwartze and Belle Mayor Steve Vogt.
    • Josh Sirois of Salem, nominated by Dent County Presiding Commissioner Darrell Skiles.

    MRPC staff service awards were also presented during the evening to MRPC Executive Director Bonnie Prigge for 25 years of service; Teresa Murdie, housing inspector/coordinator, for 35 years of service; Maria Bancroft, business loans specialist for 10 years of service.

    Housing inspector Chuck Cantrell was also honored as MRPC 2016 Employee of the Year, a selection made by MRPC staff. He inspects rental units through the Phelps County Public Housing Agency (PHA) and provides work write-ups and inspection services for housing renovation projects. He also does lead and asbestos inspections and helps with the maintenance of the MPRC building and cars.

    Cantrell was nominated by his co-workers because of his willingness to help others and his ability to remember every detail and discuss his work. He willingly accepts additional duties and projects and volunteers to help where needed and customers compliment on his professionalism.

    Meramec Regional Development Corp., the loan board that works in partnership with MRPC, presented its Lender of the Year award to Maries County Bank. Brandon Licklider of the St. James branch accepted the award on behalf of the bank.

    Some 179 people attended MRPC’s annual dinner. Several area cities, businesses and board members donated items for the silent auction, which was held during the reception.  The reception was sponsored by Maries County Bank, Legends Bank and Mid America Bank, all of Belle.

    MRPC Executive Director Prigge served as master of ceremonies and was assisted by Chairman Ray Schwartze, Maries County presiding commissioner. Vogt, Schwartze and Dudenhoeffer provided welcoming addresses. Vice Chairman Marvin Wright, presiding commissioner of Washington County, assisted with awards.

    Formed in 1969, MRPC is a voluntary council of governments serving Crawford, Dent, Gasconade, Maries, Osage, Phelps, Pulaski and Washington counties and their respective cities. A professional staff of 24, directed by the MRPC board, offers technical assistance and services, such as grant preparation and administration, housing assistance, transportation planning, environmental planning, ordinance codification, business loans and other services to member communities.

    To keep up with the latest MRPC news and events, visit the MRPC website at or on Facebook at

    MRPC Chairman and Maries County Presiding Commissioner Ray Schwartze (right) honored Crawford County resident Carol Hofstetter (middle) of Bourbon with an MRPC volunteer award at the commission’s annual dinner and awards ceremony Oct. 20.



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