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It’s all glitz and glamour for Poulsbo chamber

POULSBO — The Greater Poulsbo Chamber of Commerce kicked off its 55th year with a glittering, glamorous bang Friday night.

Community leaders and chamber members were treated to the White Diamonds and Champagne Gala at the Kiana Lodge, where Chamber Board President Marlene Mitchell and Secretary Donna Strep honored those who “made Poulsbo shine in 2007.”

Top hats, tiaras, raffle prizes and one beautifully played grand piano made the night a hit for attendees.

Strep hosted the evening and introduced the winners of the annual awards given to those who make the best and biggest impacts on this historically beloved city.

The Pearce Dressel Volunteer of the Year Award was given to Jack Archer.

“If you ever need someone to build a shelf, volunteer or just be there to support you, Jack Archer is your man,” Strep said.

Outstanding Achievement by a service organization went to Soroptimist International of Greater North Kitsap for its 2007 Bras for a Cause, which raised funds for an oncology rooftop healing garden at Harrison Medical Center and hospice in-school grief counseling for kids and teens. Michelle Cho Gip, a chiropractor with the Well Being Health Center in Poulsbo, accepted the award and said the group plans on repeating the much-liked fundraiser.

Poulsbo Mayor Kathryn Quade accepted a Beautification Award on behalf of the city of Poulsbo for the restoration work done in Waterfront Park.

“Our local citizens and tourists alike need a special place to go,” Strep said, and the city created just that with park and beach improvements, a new bulkhead, better wheelchair access and a viking mural. Quade said the effort was a collaborative one which made the park a place of which Poulsbo residents can be proud.

Blue Sky Printing owners Loren and Laurie Brown, too, were given a Beautification Award.

Poulsbo Fire Department chief Jim Shields took home a Community Builder Award for his work growing the city’s fire fighting force. For the chief, who will retire this June, the night was a family affair, with his wife Ginger, son and daughter-in-law all in attendance.

“My wife and I are so blessed to live in a community like this,” he said. “I feel so honored by this award tonight and I will keep it precious to me.”

Poulsbo’s Fish Park steering committee chairman Tom Nordlie also received a Community Builder Award. When the city began making plans for Fish Park, “Tom Nordlie got interested,” Strep said. Nordlie took home the honor for his work with area service organizations, volunteers and Boy and Girl Scout groups looking to build a trail, plant a tree or construct a viewing platform.

“It’s really an honor and a privilege to live in Poulsbo,” Nordlie said, adding Poulsbo’s Fish park is a place that belongs to all, especially to those who’ve had a hand in shaping it. He encouraged attendees to take a stroll through the new city amenity.

“It is your park,” he said.

Person of the Year went to Brad Allen, who retired after 26 years in the Navy to work in financial services. Allen also works with various local organizations, including the Poulsbo-North Kitsap Rotary Club and Little Norway Toastmasters. Of the standing ovations through the night, Allen received the longest before he humbly thanked the crowd.

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