Soldotna chamber honors community

Posted: Friday, January 21, 2005

Michelle Glaves is continually amazed by the amount people who give to the community of Soldotna. That is why she looks forward to the chamber awards every year.

Today at 6:30 p.m., the Soldotna Chamber of Commerce will celebrate its 46th annual awards ceremony at the Soldotna Sports Center.

Glaves, the chamber's executive director, knows people give a lot to the community.

"When it's all listed out there to show how involved these people are, it's just overwhelming," she said.

The ceremony will include the announcement of nine award and seven scholarship recipients. It will be catered with heavy hors d'oeuvres, such as meatballs, sandwiches and oysters and include a no-host bar. There also will be a year-in-review slide show and the official passing of the gavel to the next chamber president, Sammie Cole.

This year's awards were determined by a committee of five people, Glaves said.

Every year the chamber asks the community to nominate people to receive the awards. The importance of the ceremony: "It's important to say thank you," Glaves said.

Tim Pope, outgoing president of the chamber, said his favorite part of the evening is looking at people's faces when they hear their name called for an award. A close second is the food, he said.

Having a hard time deciding what the best part of the evening is, Pope said he also loves the slide show highlighting events such as parades, the Taste of Kenai and the lighting of the Christmas tree.

For the next year, he said he hopes to see the chamber work toward accomplishing some of its goals, such as becoming more involved with its members.

The awards to be given at tonight's ceremony are:

Volunteer of the Year

Devoted Service to Youth

Two awards for Excellence in Profession

Pioneer Award

Community and Civic Award

Honorary Lifetime Membership

Business of the Year

Person of the Year

The scholarship winners also will be honored. They are Ali Greer Wykis, a senior at Soldotna High School; Casilyn Marie Dreifuerst, Brian Hibberd and Vanessa Ashley Williams, seniors at Skyview High School; and Ramsey J. Arneson, a senior at Cook Inlet Academy. The Vera Horwath Memorial Scholarship winners are Jenna Zufelt and Thomas Minelga, seniors at CIA.

Tickets for the ceremony cost $25.

For more information or to purchase tickets, call the chamber at 262-9814.

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