Chamber says ‘Ahoy’ to bringing back traditions

POULSBO — Last year, the Greater Poulsbo Chamber of Commerce celebrated its 50th anniversary with poodle skirts, pompadours and a sock hop.

This year, peg legs, eye patches and phrases like “shiver me timbers” will be all the rage.

The chamber’s annual awards banquet will begin at 5:30 p.m. March 4 at the Kiana Lodge in Suquamish. The theme for the annual awards banquet is Pirates of Poulsbo and attendees are encouraged to wear their very best bucaneering outfits. But while giving a nod to the maritime heritage of Little Norway, the event will also harken back to the chamber’s own past.

“We’re going to go back to how it originally was,” chamber president Pat McFadden explained. “In the past, that function was always the event of the year and we want to bring that back.”

One long lost tradition that will resurface at next weekend’s event will be the installation of the 2005 chamber officers and board members and the recognition of the 2004 group. Four returning board members will be installed along with five newly-elected directors.

But the bigger returner will be the surprise announcement of person of the year, which was sent to Davy Jones’ locker some time ago. In its early years, the business organization would announce a group of community builder award winners prior to the banquet and from that group, the person of the year would be chosen. During annual gathering, Miss Poulsbo would circulate through the crowd and eventually stop at the chosen person’s chair to escort them to the podium.

McFadden said that surprise, including the participation of Miss Poulsbo Canon Henness, will be put back into practice next week.

“We thought, if people knew who was getting the awards, they would want to come and celebrate with them,” she said. “But we wanted to add suspense back into that event, too.”

This year, the person of the year will be chosen from among five community builders:

• Kathi Forsee

• Dr. Roger Meyer

• Ardis Morrow

• Jim Oas

• Jim and Joy Page

The annual awards banquet also includes the recognition of community members in several other categories. Those award winners this year are:

• Outstanding Achievement by a Service Organization — Poulsbo Noon Lions

• Beautification/New Construction — Acupuncture & Wellness Center, Poulsbo Perk

• Beautification/Renovation — Anderson CPA

• Volunteer of the Year — Pearce Dressel

Tickets for the chamber awards banquet are $27.50 or $200 for a table of eight and are available for purchase by the public at the chamber office off Jensen Way or from any of the chamber directors. Tickets can also be reserved by calling the chamber office at (360) 779-4999.

Since parking is limited at Kiana, attendees will park at the Clearwater Casino and be shuttled between the two. A blues band will be playing for free in the Club Clearwater lounge following the awards banquet.

“So we’re encouraging people, if they want to continue to celebrate, to enjoy that event,” McFadden added.

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