John and Lori Heitz owners of the Red Pepper and Red Pepperoni restaurants, were given the Business Citizenship Award at the Madison Area Chamber of Commerce’s annual dinner at Hanover College on Wednesday. (Staff photo by Ken Ritchie)
John and Lori Heitz owners of the Red Pepper and Red Pepperoni restaurants, were given the Business Citizenship Award at the Madison Area Chamber of Commerce’s annual dinner at Hanover College on Wednesday. (Staff photo by Ken Ritchie)
Madison residents Bob Pimlott and John and Lori Heitz were honored for their community service at the Madison Area Chamber of Commerce's annual meeting Wednesday night.

Pimlott received the Jeff Garrett Community Service Award. The Heitzes, owners of The Red Pepper and The Red Pepperoni restaurants in downtown Madison, received the Business Citizenship award.

The honors were announced at the student campus center at Hanover College.

Nominees for the Community Service Award were judged on many criteria including participation in community service projects, youth work, civic club service, church activities, civic improvement projects, the United Way and industrial development.

"I'm so pleased to say that tonight's recipient for 2013 Jeff Garrett Community Service Award typifies that," said Bob Greene, who introduced Pimlott.

Greene was the 2012 winner of the Jeff Garrett Community Service award.

"I didn't know Jeff Garrett, because he died before I came to town. He died in 2005 and the Community Service Award was named after him in 2006. But his enduring legacy lives on through this award," Greene said. "From my standpoint and all who knew him, he will always remain the gold standard for what this award represents in community service and how to live life to its fullest for the people of Madison and Jefferson County"

Greene read letters of support for Pimlott.

Pimlot's list of community service is impressive. He has served as president of the Jefferson County United Way and has been on the Jefferson County Library Board and the Jefferson County Youth Shelter.

He is a long-standing member of the Jefferson County Human Relations Commission and serves on the board of Casa Amiga.

"Bob is much deserving of this honor but would be surprised to be nominated. He does what he does and he is who he is, not for glory or recognition, but because it is the right and good thing to do. He puts others above self and service to all ..." Greene read from one letter.

In accepting the award Pimlott said that volunteering can be demanding of one's time. He told the audience that it is important to make sure time is left for family responsibilities.

Dwayne Cole, 2012 chamber president and winner of the 2012 the Business Citizenship award, introduced the Heitzes.

"Their involvement has become extremely important to many nonprofit organizations in the community," Cole said. "The Red Pepper has been a staple business in downtown Madison for a number of years. It has had the rare ability to create name recognition within the community, which has helped them create a loyal and passionate customer base."

The Heitzes were honored for their involvement with Girls Inc., community Tee ball, baseball, soccer, Shawe Memorial Schools and United Way.

The chamber also recognized Martha Ray as its 2012 Ambassador of the Year.