A wonderful introduction to what Poulsbo is about | Editor's Notebook

My boss thought the Greater Poulsbo Chamber of Commerce Awards Banquet would be a great way for me, a new Poulsbohemian, to meet some local folks (and enjoy a fine meal to boot).

It was more a cram course in Poulsbo generosity (and in Poulsbo’s generous number of pageants).

Eight awards were given at the banquet, Jan. 28 in the Sons of Norway. And it was clear by the introductions that the community is a much better place because of the work of the honorees.

The Kathleen Sutton Fund, Organization of the Year, pays the transportation costs of women who must travel to get treatment for cancer.

Michele Laboda, a Community Hero Award recipient, teaches children how to be fire safe and keeps the public informed of North Kitsap Fire & Rescue responses.

Kingston Middle School music director Jeff Haag, another Community Hero Award recipient, has led his band to award-winning performances in Victoria, B.C.; Portland, Ore.; and Disneyland. (They’ve also performed the national anthem at four NBA games.)

Vinland School PTSA, winner of the award for Beautification/Renovations, raised more than $100,000 to make the school a stunningly beautiful and welcoming place to teach and learn. The school complements our natural landscape.

Sylvia Cauter of North Kitsap High School and Lori McClanahan of Vinland Elementary School were honored as Educators of the Year. Their students, excited about learning, can attest to their teachers’ right to those awards.

Mayor Becky Erickson announced city Public Works Director Barry Loveless as Person of the Year for his skillful work during the storms.

Kathy Smith, Pearce Dressel Volunteer of the Year, was honored for her work with Fishline, which puts food on tables and helps meet the emergency needs of thousands of households a month.

More than 150 people attended, and it took an army to make the banquet possible. The Awards Banquet Committee consisted of Margaret Bradshaw of 1st Security Bank, Linda Foster of Foster Financial, Kathleen Haag of Mary Kay Cosmetics, Adele Heinrich of the Chamber of Commerce, Linda Lincoln of Timberland Bank, Lynanne White of American Rose Bridal, and Pam Whitt of Viking Bank.

Timberland Bank sponsored the event. Awards were sponsored by Acupuncture and Wellness, American Rose Bridal, Bayside Engravers, 1st Security Bank, Land Title, Poulsbo Village, Viking Bank, and Mayor Erickson.

Danny Fritts of DEF Productions provided the sound. Ruth Ann Dunn of PortraitEfx photographed the event. The Loft provided the dessert. That’s A Some Italian, Jak’s Café and Tizley’s Europub provided hors d’oeuvres. Food was served by members of the Sons of Norway.

Lincoln, past president of the Chamber of Commerce, honored her predecessors with a plaque designed and built by Dan White; the plaque is on display in the chamber office.

As the economy continues to recover, we have a lot of neighbors in need. In fact, none of us is immune. As this event showed, if you hit a bad stretch chances are good someone in the room will have your back.

All in all, a wonderful introduction to what Poulsbo is all about.

— Richard Walker is editor of the North Kitsap Herald. Contact him at 779-4464 or

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