The 46th Annual Soldotna Chamber of Commerce Awards Reception drew a capacity crowd to the Soldotna Sports Center last week. Traditionally the identities of the award recipients is a closely guarded secret until the presenting of the award, "Believe me there was some serious manipulating going on this week to get some of these folks here under false pretenses," said Person of the Year award presenter James Fisher. 2004 was another great year of progress thanks to the hard work of the Soldotna Chamber Board and staff who are dedicated to making our community the best it can be, said out-going Chamber president Tim Pope.
Barb Blakely presents Jerome & Etta Mae Near the Pioneer Award.
Jerry and Etta Mae Near were chosen to receive the Pioneer Award this year, "I'm not even a Chamber member, so this was a surprise, but what means the most is that my wife's name is on the plaque. She does so many things that very few people even know about and I think that it's great that some of the silent efforts of people like her are given recognition," said an emotional Near.
Tom Boedeker, Soldotna City Manager was given the Excellence in Profession award. Earlier this year Boedeker was the recipient of the Alaska Municipal League's Vic Fisher award, "You saw tonight, our mayor got an award, Sgt. Tod McGillivray got an award for service to youth, and it's just not hard to get recognized for awards when you have all these excellent people around you helping you out, but it's truly a great honor and I will work hard in the future to live up to this award," said Boedeker.
James Fisher overwhelms Gloria Wisecarver with the Person of the Year award and SCC 46th annual awards banquet.
Selected to receive this year's Person of the Year award was Gloria Wisecarver, "I want you to know I almost had a heart attack. I expected it to be Jim Fisher and I came here tonight to support him, I never expected this," said Wisecarver, member of the Peninsula Food Bank board of directors. Other individuals selected for special recognition for their outstanding contributions to the community were Dan Green of G&S Construction for Excellence in Profession, Paul, Scott, & Brian Miller of Soldotna Trustworthy Hardware, Business of the Year, Sgt. Tod McGillivray, Devoted Service to Youth, Jim & Betty Harris, Honorary Lifetime Membership, and selected as the Volunteers of the Year, were the Missionaries of the Soldotna Latter-Day Saints Church. "I want to express my heart felt thanks to everyone that attended this special evening honoring the outstanding members of our community. It is truly heartwarming to honor all those who contribute to the success of a community, to honor them and say 'Thank You' for what you do throughout the year," said Michelle Glaves, Soldotna Chamber executive director.
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