The Chamber’s Annual Military Appreciation Banquet is an evening that honors the military personnel from Interior Alaska who have been awarded for their excellence, leadership, and commitment in service to our armed forces. The Banquet is a way for Interior Alaska to show our gratitude and support for the military as civilian hosts.
This event would not be possible without the generous support of civilian hosts and business community sponsors. Each year, we are overwhelmed by the outpouring of support by the Fairbanks community and our event sponsors and we give you our heartfelt thanks!
History of the Military Appreciation Banquet
The Military Appreciation Banquet began 43 years ago when Jim and Rosemary Messer began having dinner parties in their home for their friends in the military and they encouraged others in our community to do the same. Many Fairbanksans followed Jim and Rosemary’s lead and for six years the dinner-in-the-home format grew and prospered. However, the event became so popular that it had to be moved to a large banquet facility and, for the past four years, to the Carlson Center.
Jim Messer was Chairman of the Military Affairs Committee for the Chamber of Commerce for many, many years and, for decades, he was on the front lines of our community’s efforts to offer the military an environment of friendliness, first-class housing, and a quality of life second to none.
During the banquet individuals who have exhibited distinguished service to the military and to our country are recognized during an awards ceremony.
The Messer award is also awarded during the banquet. This award is presented to a member of the community who best promoted military/community relations over the past year. Jim Messer was the very first recipient of this award.