Castle Rock chamber's Derby night proves a winner

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The night at the races was a hit for members and guests at the Castle Rock Chamber of Commerce Kentucky Derby-themed awards banquet.

Wide-brimmed hats and Derby attire marked the April 25 event, where attendees helped raise more than $5,000 for chamber programs.

The biggest winner of the night was local businessman Rick Stucy, who was named the chamber’s 2013 Businessperson of the Year.

Stucy is owner of Stucy Realty, chairman of the downtown development authority and a longtime chamber member, who spearheaded construction of the Rink at the Rock, Castle Rock’s outdoor ice rink.

He won the chamber’s top award of the evening after being nominated with Wes King, president of FirstBank of Douglas County, and John Manka, owner of 1Stop Tire & Auto.

“This award really is special because (Castle Rock chamber members) gave it,” Stucy said. “It’s Castle Rock and you mean the world to me.”

The other awards of the night included the Ping Lee Jung Volunteer of the Year award, which went to Lisa Frizell of the Douglas County assessor’s office; the Ambassador of the Year award, which went to Sue Turner of Proforma Image Branding; and the Citizen of the Year award, which went to Manka.

The chamber did not go away empty-handed, with more than $4,800 raised in its live auction. Auctioneer John Anderson, commander with the Castle Rock Police Department, prompted bidders to raise $1,500 for an interactive training experience at the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office training facility; $675 for a chance to light the star at Castle Rock’s holiday Starlighting; $700 for dinner for four, served by the firefighters with the Castle Rock Fire Department; and $1,950 for a 30-minute AirLife helicopter ride, courtesy of Sky Ridge Medical Center.

Sky Ridge representative Linda Watson upped the ante for the helicopter ride, donating a second ride on the spot to allow two bidders to walk away as winners.

John Medved, owner of Medved Autoplex, won the first ride with a $1,000 bid and the next closest bidder donated $950 for a second ride.

“It’s an experience you’ll never forget,” Watson said.