Kenai Chamber starts New Year with community awards
As the Kenai Chamber of Commerce looks forward to an exciting new year with great hopes for the future, it celebrated the accomplishments of individuals and organizations that were essential in making 2005 a great year at their annual awards banquet. Local community members and dignitaries gathered at the Challenger Learning Center to honor those selected for the traditional awards. Kenai Borough Mayor John Williams challenged the Chamber to work with City in the coming year to create a unique image for the City of Kenai that would cause Alaskans and people through out the country to make Kenai a destination for business and recreation.
Every year the Chamber selects a business or organization for recognition that has consistently been active and contributed to the wellness of the community, this year’s recipient was Arby’s of Alaska. In receiving the award Mike Navarre stated that even though they had stores throughout Alaska they had decided to keep their corporate headquarters in Kenai because it was their home and they wanted to give back to the community.
The Community Service award is presented to an individual or business who has consistently donated time to the efforts of the Kenai Chamber of Commerce, and this year the Chamber honored Herb Stettler for this many contributions to Veterans and families.
Penny Furnish was chosen as the Volunteer of the Year for consistently volunteering her time toward Chamber events and programs. The Pioneer award is presented each year to a person or persons who have been in the Kenai area for at least 25 years and who have been instrumental in the development of business, educational, cultural or recreational activities during their period of residence. This year’s award went to Bob Bielefeld. Outgoing Chamber president Roy Wells selected Bob Favretto for the President’s Choice award and a very surprised Sue Carter, former Chamber executive director, was chosen for the coveted Log Cabin Award. The criteria for this special award are drawn from Alaskan history where it is an unwritten law that a cabin in the wilderness is a refuge to all weary travelers. A moral obligation requires those using a cabin to replenish wood and supplies, thus leaving the cabin for the next traveler. “I’m very humbled actually because of the meaning of this award, and I always feel that once you get an award like this you must continue to live up to its standards. This has been our home for more than 39 years, so we’ll continue to find things to do in our community to try and live up to this honor,” said Carter.
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