Chamber seeks hearts of gold for 50th celebration

POULSBO — The Greater Poulsbo Chamber of Commerce marks its golden anniversary this year.

And it’s now looking for some truly precious people to honor for the occasion.

Nominations are now being taken for the chamber’s 2003 community awards.

Now through April 7, any member of the community may nominate a group, individual or business for one of three awards:

•Person of the Year: any member of the Poulsbo community who demonstrates exemplary leadership and commitment in both business and civic involvement

•Beautification Award: any member of the Poulsbo community who had made extraordinary contributions to the architectural image of the community

•Community Builder: any member of the Poulsbo community who is a leader in building goodwill through service and commitment to the community

Chamber president Kevin Hogan said that the annual awards are a chance for the business organization to honor both members and non-members who make Poulsbo a better place to live. He said he especially likes the beautification award, which often honors new and renovated buildings and added landscaping around town.

“Every year, we want to honor businesses or community members that go above and beyond the call of duty to add a nice touch to Poulsbo,” Hogan said. “Somebody can just not put in that extra lawn or landscaping. They can not spend that extra money. But when they do, it makes Poulsbo all the nicer.”

Former winners of this award have included Valley Nursery, Poulsbo Inn and the Point No Point Casino.

The Person of the Year and Community Builder designations are often given to those who participate activities that make Poulsbo a better place. Chamber vice president Pat McFadden said the chamber also looks for people with long-standing community service, but who have not gotten the recognition they deserve.

“The key difference is the person of the year has not only contributed to volunteer or civic organizations, they’re also a pillar of the business community,” McFadden explained. “The community builder is recognition for community involvement.”

Former Person of the Year winners were Bruce and Lynda Nilsen and Brent Stenman. Former Community Builders include Dan Weedin and Jack Webb.

But Hogan added his favorite part about the awards is that although he and the rest of the chamber board will be choosing the final recipients, the nominations come from community members.

“These aren’t our ideas, we go by what the nominations tell us,” Hogan said. “Often, we get nominations for awards for things we’d never even noticed because they’re so far off the beaten path.”

Those chosen to receive the awards will be honored at a special 50th anniversary party the chamber will be holding May 8 at the Clearwater Casino. The sock hop-inspired event will be a chance for the chamber and the community to celebrate 50 years of the business organization.

“Some of the thought has been to roust up some of those original chamber members or past presidents,” Hogan commented.

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