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Waitsburg Commercial Club Awards Night

 

April 14, 2022

Beka Compton

Louie Gagnon received the 2020 Community Service Award, in part for his dedication to Town Hall renovations and his role in the Weller Public Library renovations. Becky Huwe accepted the 2022 Community Service award on behalf of her brother and sister-in-law, Allen and Karen Huwe. Jillian Henze presented 2021 Community Service Award to Margie Benson. During the flood in 2020, Margie prepared meals for displaced residents and flood volunteers, as well as managed the donation inventory.

The Waitsburg Commercial Club held its annual Awards Night Dinner and annual meeting on April 12 at the new American 35. Close to one hundred guests attended, supporting the club and recognizing Waitsburg citizens who were awarded for their work this year as well as the last two years.

The event was dedicated to the late Waitsburg Mayor Walt Gobel and included a special circumstance award to Matt and Krystal Wyatt for their work during the 2020 flood recovery.

Waitsburg Commercial Club Awards

Citizen of the Year 2020

Louie and Marie Gagnon were nominated by Jim Davison, who presented the award.

"My nomination for Waitsburg's 2020 Citizens of the Year is actually for a couple who have been very active in the community. They have been involved with the recent renovations at the back of Weller Library. Those who take The Times have been kept up to date with the progress and their involvement in making Waitsburg Library handicap accessible."

Citizen of the Year 2021

Margie Benson was nominated by Dane and Jillian Henze. Jillian Henze presented the award

"Margie was the one taking care of the (flood) committee, taking care of the displaced families, and taking care of the dozens of volunteers out working in the field or staying for multiple nights at the church," said Henze describing Benson's hard work during the flood relief efforts.

Citizen of the Year 2022

Karen and Allen Huwe were nominated and presented by Jim Davidson

"There is no doubt the items listed barely scratch the surface since they don't advertise their community involvement. It has been an honor to serve on Town Hall's Board with Allen Huwe and nominate him and Karen for Citizens of the Year for 2022."

Employee of the Year 2020

Pam Gales Alexenko was presented and nominated by Erin Elsey

"Jeremy and I nominated Pam Alexenko for Employee of the Year! Pam goes above and beyond her duties not only as a bus driver but also runs the concession stand for the school during home games. To Jeremy and I, Pam is the "Transportation" of Waitsburg School District."

Employee of the Year 2021

Mark Pickel was presented and nominated by Ross Harmann.

"I believe working on behalf of kids is easy for Mark. That is because Mark loves educating our kids and has always gone above and beyond to make learning and daily school life a fun and rewarding adventure. From his trademark "fun & comical socks" to donning goggles and flippers so elementary students could throw a cream pie in his face as fun reward for raising funds for heart health."

Employee of the Year 2022

Randy Hinchliffe, nominated and presented by Judy Bennett

"This individual has demonstrated patience, optimism, and efficient problem-solving while navigating profound changes to the downtown core and also handling the impact of a worldwide pandemic, a flood, staffing shortages, supply chain problems, and soaring inflation," said presenter Judy Bennett.

Business of the Year 2020

Ten Ton Coffee was nominated and presented the award for 2020 by Paul Gregutt.

The owner of Ten Ton Coffee joins a growing number of friends and family who are recent transplants to Waitsburg and dedicated to restoring and preserving the many assets that make our town special and one of a kind.

Business of the Year 2021

Mr. C's Smokin' Co., nominated and presented by Noelle Olson

"Having had personal interaction with Clarence, Lisa, and Greg at Mr. C's on many occasions, including last year when they literally "Saved our Bacon" {no pun intended} when we had a farm emergency with a broken hoof, I'm very pleased to be asked to announce them as winners of this prestigious award," said Olson.

Business of the Year 2022

Gaudy Gals, presented by Lane Gwinn

"So, Walla Walla's loss became Waitsburg's gain after the talented sisters moved their business to a cozy, very cozy space on Waitsburg's Main Street. In no time, the gals created the most entertaining shop in town.

I am pleased to announce that Gaudy Gals on Main is the business of the year for 2022. Kimi Bruzas and Lori Davis are creative entrepreneurs and, most importantly, one-of-a-kind sisters.

Special Award

Matt and Krystal Wyatt were nominated and presented by Kate Hockersmith and Gabe Kiefel.

The couple was able to join for the award ceremony via zoom from their new home in Texas.

The 2022 Awards dinner was dedicated to the late Mayor Walt Gobel

Walt Gobel was honored by the club, and Mayor Marty Dunn presented the award to Gwen Gobel.

"Walt was one of the founding members of Waitsburg Celebration Days, created to save the date when horse racing ended in Waitsburg. He chaired the Waitsburg Celebration Days committee, and Gwen was secretary of the board."

 

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