The Forks Chamber of Commerce will host its annual Best of Awards virtually this year on Wednesday, Feb. 10 via a Zoom meeting. The recipients of this years’ awards will be honored with lunch at a later date as COVID-19 restrictions allow.
This year the Chamber received a large number of deserving nominees. Some people were nominated several times and in multiple categories. It was a difficult decision for the Best of committee when it came down to choosing the recipients …the nominees were:
Volunteer of the year nominees:
Devennie Anderson – “No matter who or what is happening Devennie is always first to help.”
David Hurn – “David saved our SIORF Festival of Trees. David was the expert extraordinaire for Forks at fundraising during a pandemic!”
Rick Sequin – “Rick is our local Mick Dodge look-a-like, but more importantly, he is a grateful veteran who gives back to this community through volunteering. Rick deserves our recognition.”
Robyn Wright – “I watched this lady find a way to help out during our community’s health crisis, making masks for distribution to anyone and everyone that needed them. She turned out a minimum of 100 masks a week!”
CDK Group (Cindy, Debbie, and Kris) – “This group seemed to sew masks around the clock.” “A coordinated effort by Debbie Anderson to sew masks, gowns, caps, baby items, they continue to fill the needs of FCH, Caring Place and others.”
Eugene Fraker – “Eugene is involved with Feeding 5000, also a scout leader and he stepped up when the VFW needed him.”
Linda Offutt – “Linda has been a long-time supporter of the West End and Forks, with participation on the Forks Chamber Board, West End Business, and more. She values the logging community and the history of our logging industry. Thank you for taking care of our Logging Museum!”
Paul Hampton – “As tireless supporter and volunteer at Sarge’s Place, helping our veterans have a better life and honoring their service to our Nation.”
Pat Soderlind – “During the pandemic her management of the Food Bank has made sure that thousands of pounds of food have gone out to those in need.”
Mikey Blair – Mikey is a paid coach for the wrestling team but his time and commitment goes above and beyond, volunteering for the youth league attending weekday practices and weekend tournaments.”
Moe Flores – “Moe quietly donates his time to many local projects; spiffing up the Logger Memorial and most recently donating many hours to the Gold Star Families Memorial Monument.”
Debbie Anderson – “Debbie was instrumental in making masks for the hospital during the COVID Crisis, along with Cindy Mesembrink and Kris Ayers. She worked hard rounding up material and even sent masks to California.”
Citizen of the Year Nominees:
Diana Reaume – “While Diana would be the first to say ‘it takes an Army’ and that her staff is the best, it takes a leader to continue to excel with little resources.”
Rod Fleck – “Too many to list in the ‘beyond the job with time and effort’ for the betterment of the community including both the city of Forks, the county and holding elected officials to the truth.” “In the early days of COVID Rod worked tirelessly through the Olympic Peninsula Betterment Association to get funds to distribute to members of our community, working Saturdays’ to distribute vouchers to be used for food and services.”
Anna Rose Geyer – “Anna Rose has been one of the most positive and inspirational people in our community this past year. She does many Random Acts of Kindness, we need more people like her in our community.”
David Hurn – “David stepped up to set up online auctions; QVSA, Elks, Soroptimist Festival of Trees, Cherish Our Children.”
Mark and Pat Soderlind – “Mark and Pat have done a remarkable job feeding our families during the pandemic. I know they utilize their own resource to overhaul the Food Bank, the facilities improvements have allowed more diverse giving and expanded services to Forks.”
Cindy Mesenbrink – “Cindy has volunteered many years organizing the quilt show, Relay for Life, and as a chairperson for the Festival of Trees. Her enthusiasm and positive attitude are wonderful.”
All EMT’s, nurses, hospital staff, and doctors – “I nominate them for being willing to help others in a crisis, putting the needs of others ahead of themselves, and for selflessly serving people in need.”
Nerissa Davis – “Nerissa’s work is exemplary for the City of Forks and her assistance with the Forks Police Department has kept the FPD functioning in the time of a pandemic.”
Suzie Brandelius – “Suzie is involved with caring for some of our most vulnerable citizens. She goes above and beyond in a job that is never-ending and she does it with kindness.”
Business of the Year Nominees:
Sully’s – “I can’t think of a more deserving business this past year than Sully’s. They always step up to help and support our community. They are a homegrown family business, which is special these days.”
Sully’s was awarded a Cornerstone Award in 2019, this award is given to a business that goes above and beyond and is nominated all the time. Sully’s was the second business to receive this award. This award is not awarded every year but as the current committee sees that it is worthy and warranted.
Forks Forum- Editor Christi Baron – “This too is another individual who has worked tirelessly and in adverse or at least challenging environments to meet our West End resident’s needs, a balanced view with history and opinions that are relevant to our times.”
Forks Community Hospital – “It goes without saying that the staff of the hospital has gone above and beyond during this health crisis. The care, professionalism, and support deserve recognition.” “They have rolled with the punches for months and continue to set the tone for the community.”
Forks Outfitters – “I know they have been nominated before, but they continue to do what is required during the changing COVID nightmare. In addition, they give back to the community in so many ways.” “Our local store hasn’t missed a beat during the pandemic, we need to recognize the frontline workers for their courage and stamina to ‘Show Up’ and continue to serve our community.”
Forks Outfitters was awarded a Cornerstone Award in 2016, this award is given to a business that goes above and beyond and is nominated all the time. Outfitters was the first to receive this award.
Forks Post Office – “This may be unusual, but it is an unusual year. The staff at the Forks Post Office has had to pick up the slack of many more deliveries, they need to be commended.”
Chinook Pharmacy – “They allowed us to do drive-up service at the beginning of the Pandemic. As an independent pharmacy, I imagine they are facing many difficult decisions on how to continue to serve us, they are a valuable business in our town.”
Concerned Citizens – “With many programs, people serving people, Adult Family Home, Personal Care, Day Care, Employment and supervised visits.”
Home Slice Take n Bake – “This business continues to grow and expand, and as they grow they continually give.”
Rusty Gate – “If it wasn’t hard enough trying to run a business during a pandemic …then it burns down. But Mike and Andrea did not give up, they cleaned up and got on with rebuilding, keeping a much-needed business in our community.”
In 2017 the Inez Halverson Award was created to honor a person or entity that gives back to the community in the same spirit that long-time resident and volunteer “Halvy” did. The first recipient was Olympic Corrections Center, in 2018 it went to the Forks Lions Club, and last year it went to the Forks Police Department under Chief Mike Rowley.
Prior to the award having a name it went to the Forks fire Department in 2012.
This year the “Halvy” award goes to two groups:
The CDK sewing group is made up of Cindy Mesenbrink, Debbie Anderson and Kris Ayers. They worked almost non-stop creating masks that were donated to the Hospital and others.
The other recipient of a “Halvy” is Feeding 5000 under the direction of Eugene Fraker. Eugene and his fellow volunteers have worked to provide lunch to go each Tuesday to those that are hungry in our community.
This year a Cornerstone Award goes to two entities in our community;
Forks Community Hospital, administration, staff, doctors, LTC, clinic, etc. and Quillayute Valley School District, Diana Reaume, Superintendant, along with her administration and staff.
And the other recipients for 2020 are:
Volunteer – David Hurn
Citizen – Rod Fleck
Business – Home Slice Take n Bake
Congratulations to all the recipients and nominees as well. Thanks to everyone that took the time to send in a nomination.
Photos will appear next week.