On Nov. 7, the showroom at Bommarito Automotive Group Audi West County was filled with local leaders all gathered with one goal – to recognize seven recipients of the inaugural Bluebird Awards.
Recognized with The Community Spirit/Support Award was Tri-City Animal & Bird Clinic. Since 1961, Tri-City Animal & Bird Clinic has provided veterinary care to the greater St. Louis county area including the Wildwood, Ellisville, Ballwin, Manchester and Chesterfield communities. In Ellisville, the clinic and its staff are widely recognized as supporters of the city’s dog park and its annual Hot Dog! It’s Chili in Ellisville event.
The Ellisville Business of the Year Award went to Faraci’s Pizza, which area residents deem as “the best pizza anywhere.” Accepting the award for Vince Faraci was Ellisville Police Chief Steve Lewis, who relayed that Faraci had been surprised that his company had won the award. His humble reply, Lewis said, was proof that the right man and company had been chosen.
The Beautification Award went to Allen Roofing & Siding, whose new facility on Old State Road is described by Lee Allen as having a residential aesthetic that fits in with the community. Fitting into the Ellisville community and helping to beautify it in the process is something that Allen said has been important to his company since its founding in 1972.
Bommarito Automotive Group Audi West County was recognized as the Project of the Year for the remodel of its Ellisville headquarters and showroom. John Bommarito, in sharing the story of how his father relocated the family and his dealership to “a field in West County,” left no doubt that the company’s roots are planted deep in the soil of Ellisville.
Marc Pemberton, owner of Economy Car Care Center, received the New Entrepreneur Award. Pemberton opened his second location in December 2018. The original is in Valley Park. In accepting his award, Pemberton thanked his staff and technicians for the care they always show to customers. He credited his team with the success of the fledgling location and the continuing success of the Valley Park operation.
Two longtime business owners shared the Legacy of Ellisville award: Dau Furniture and West County Lanes.
Dau Furniture, now in its fifth generation of leadership, celebrated its 125th anniversary in October. Ryan Dau, who runs the company with his sister, Cara, shared with West Newsmagazine that much of the furniture his parents and grandparents sold to St. Louis families remains in those families as “legacy pieces.” Today, Ryan and Cara are creating legacies of their own by involving Dau Furniture with Home Sweet Home, a nonprofit serving families in need. Through its Sweet Dreams St. Louis mattress donation program, Dau contributes a mattress to Home Sweet Home every time a customer purchases a Cape Girardeau-produced Campbell Sleep mattress.
West County Lanes was the dream of the late Gary Voss, according to his wife, Pat, so perhaps it is only fitting that the 24-lane bowling center was featured in the 1979 movie “Dreamer” – just one of its many claims to fame. Another is Gary, who was a bowling Hall of Famer and ABC National Champion. Gary and Pat bought West County Lanes in 1986. Today, Pat and grandson Brentwood Voss continue to keep the center’s legacy alive.
A Special Recognition for Non-Profits went to West St. Louis County Chamber of Commerce, noting all that the chamber does for its member communities and businesses from philanthropic assistance to business advice and promotion to “lots of ribbon cuttings.”
Event sponsors included Platinum sponsor, The Bommarito Automotive Group; Robin Diamond sponsor Allen Roofing & Siding; Cardinal Gold sponsors Missouri Baptist Medical Center, The DESCO Group and St. Onge Management & Exchange Corporation; and Mockingbird Silver sponsors West Newsmagazine, Walnut Grill and All Star Trophy.