You may have noticed or maybe you didn’t? But the Forks Chamber of Commerce didn’t have its annual Wine and Cheese Event this past November. The committee decided that this year they would try something different.
For the past number of years, the Wine and Cheese function included a silent auction and also honored the “Best Of” awards. The committee decided that the “Best of” Business, Volunteer and Citizen should be honored in a way that they can truly be the star of the event. So, next Wednesday, Feb. 13, at noon, those nominated for this recognition will be honored at a special Chamber of Commerce meeting at Blakeslee’s Bar and Grill. The theme is LOVE…
We love our great volunteers, citizens, and businesses, it was perfect timing, the day before Valentine’s Day.
And the nominees are …with a short excerpted description as to why they were nominated.
Business of the Year
Forks Avenue Real Estate
“Forks Avenue owner Erin Queen has taken a downtown property and renewed it, not only adding landscaping but lovingly taking care of Forks’ iconic landmark “the Big Log.” She recently added one of the old logging murals from Pay and Save to the side of her building, to be enjoyed by many for years to come.”
J&D Enterprises NW LLC
In 1986 John and Debra Buonpane started their business working together and over the past 20 years have built the company to what it is today, now employing three full-time employees. J&D volunteers dump trucks to help local residents as needed to deliver gravel and firewood, also volunteering with the Lions Club and supporting the annual Festival of trees.
Jerry’s Small Engines
Jerry’s remains as a business you can count on whenever you need them. The generosity of this business and their voluntary help with community activities in unequaled.
Through many ups and downs, they have continually tried to offer another affordable restaurant for the community.
Forks Outfitters anchors the quality of life for everyone who lives in or visits the West End. They are family owned and a major employer and always in the forefront supporting a multitude of community events. They have recently had to weather some turmoil in their supply chain.
Volunteer of the Year
Joe is an active member of the West End Business and Professional Association keeping the town train running so it can be part of many town events. He volunteers at WEBPA drawings and appeared as Santa too!
He is also involved in Emergency Preparedness, taking part in training and he is also a member of Amateur Radio Emergency Service.
Richard volunteers as the chamber van driver for the logging and mill tours, is also vice president of the Timber Museum board and helps around the museum with many displays and activities.
Warren holds a full-time job along with his work as Pastor at the Congregational Church. He is an inspiration to me and many others.
John cheerfully and enthusiastically makes time to give back to the community, with Concerned Citizens, 4th of July Committee, civil service advisory board and CC Fire Commissioner. He is currently King Lion and was a volunteer fireman.
Bill’s dedication to disaster relief with The American Red Cross is second to none. He chairs the Highway clean-up via the Forks Elks, volunteers with senior lunches, and many projects for the Emblem Club and Elks including their Children’s Therapy program.
Janet actively volunteers with several local organizations, and for the past 12 years at the Food Bank. With Soroptimists, she organizes the assembling of hygiene kits and baby Layette kits used by Forks Abuse. She is also on the FCH Advisory Board.
Chad and Shannon Dahlgren
These two are amazing. putting in an unbelievable amount of time into the youth of our area. Shannon has been Commissioner of West End Youth League for many years and runs the concession stand. Chad works a full day, coaches middle school football and then coaches a WEYL team after that!
Rick is a guy that always says “I’d be happy to help” and that is even at the eleventh hour! He is always ready to help with the WEBPA train even pulling a double shift on the 4th of July, the Forks parade and then the Port Angeles Parade.
Randy volunteers to take on the monumental task of coordinating and operating the Forks Food Bank. Randy goes the extra mile literally and figuratively, traveling long distances to get the best deal to help funds go farther at the Food Bank.
Citizen of the Year
Although Susie’s job is to help people she continually goes above and beyond to help. She is a wealth of information and reaches out to those in need well beyond her job requirement.
The Pastor is one of those special people who have courage, conviction, and dedication that set an example to everyone. He is a great asset to our community; not only involved with activities at his church but also helping out at many other events as well as Long Term Care. Warren is what helps make Forks a strong community.
Cheri is a tireless advocate for our Veterans and gives them a place to live and work. Her vision for the Farmstand and future building plans will also give back to the community. She is empowering what a citizen should be like and look up to.
Everyone is welcome to attend the Best of Chamber luncheon on Wednesday, Feb. 13 and honor all these great community members. Come honor all who were nominated and see who will take home the Best of Awards.