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M-I Chamber set to honor leaders

MONMOUTH/INDEPENDENCE — It’s almost that time of year again, when the communities of Monmouth and Independence recognize the people and businesses who make a difference.

The 50th annual Monmouth Independence Community Awards Banquet will be Friday, March 13, at 5:30 p.m., but tickets must be purchased by noon on Monday.

Nominations this year included a tough crowd, filled with worthy names of businesses and individuals who made a positive impact on the community.

The category for Junior Citizen Award — in its second year — was so tough, the selection committee refused to narrow it to just one, said Jean Love, chamber executive director.

“Upon scoring the (nomination) narratives, these two were tied,” Love said. “They said, ‘we don’t want to choose a specific winner. We want to award both of them for all they’ve done for the community.’”

The two Junior Citizen Award winners are Megan Stutzman and Michael Willis.

Other winners will be announced at the banquet on March 13 at Eola Hills Winery.

Much of what was changed at the banquet last year will remain the same this year, but one thing will be added.

“We gave the explanation of the winner, but the accolades were very generic,” Love said. “We didn’t do a good job of shining the light about what they have done. This year we’ll read highlights about each of the nominees and announce the winner. We want to highlight the greatness of all our nominees.”

Many businesses that won awards last year are in the top three finalists this year.

“There are definitely some repeats,” Love said. “It really shows the impact that these businesses or individuals have made, when you’re repeatedly ranked or nominated.”

Attend the Gala

What: The 50th annual Monmouth-Independence Community Awards Banquet.

When: Friday, March 13. Social hour starts at 5:30 p.m. Program begins at 6:30.

Where: Eola Hills Wine Cellars, Rickreall.

Admission: $40 per person. Tickets must be purchased by Monday at noon.


Junior Citizen Award winners: Megan Stutzman, Michael Willis.

Business and Organization Awards: Retail Service — Independence Cinema, Les Schwab Tire Center, Roth’s Fresh Markets;

Nonprofit or Organization — Monmouth Independence YMCA, Monmouth Public Library, Partnerships in Community Living Inc.

Food and Beverage Service — Burgerville, Crush Wine Bar and Tasting Room, San Antonio.

Personal Service Provider — Ash Creek Animal Clinic, Curves, Monmouth Fitness Club.

Professional Service Provider — Maps Credit Union, MINET, Oregon State Credit Union.

Education Support Staff of the Year: Tracy Barnes, Jodene Presler and Janie Vela.

Educator of the Year: Adrienne Gault, Scott McCannell, Linda Tonagel.

Distinguished Service: Mark Fancey, Rod Killen, David Ritchey.

First Citizen: Dori Showell, Kimber Townsend, Donn Wahl.

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