Editorial

Community assets

Thursday, February 19, 2004

For the first time in its 16-year history, the Cape Girardeau Chamber of Commerce selected a woman to receive the Rush H. Limbaugh Award. Judy Wilferth was honored for her successful business career and community involvement.

Wilferth and her husband, Rock Wilferth, own Crossroads Shopping Center. She has been president of the Cape West Merchant's Association, a member of the city's Vision 2000 steering committee and several university committees. An entrepreneur who started the first dedicated children's clothing store, Children's Bazaar, Wilferth is an excellent example of business leadership.

The other major award presented at the banquet went to Red Letter Communications as the 2003 Small Business of the Year.

Red Letter Communications is a marketing and communications firm that began 20 years ago as a two-person agency. Today it employs 19 full-time staff members and has relationships with companies like Verizon, Pizza Hut and Nestle.

Since its founding, Red Letter Communications has had a long history of participating in civic, educational and religious organizations to benefit the community. Most recently, the agency, spearheaded by founder Jim Riley, commissioned an oil painting of the Bill Emerson Memorial Bridge and raised more than $11,000 for the bridge's lighting project. Riley's partner, Frank Kinder, gave a warm tribute to American ideals at the chamber ceremony.

Both Wilferth and Red Letter Communications were deserving recipients of the chamber awards. They have proven to be outstanding assets to the community.

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