Awards banquet returns

RICKREALL — It’s that time in Monmouth and Independence, time to Celebrate the Lights in the community at the 52nd annual Community Awards Banquet.

And the nominees are

Business awards

Retail services — Downtown Trends & Treasures; Independence Cinema; and Les Schwab Tire Center.

Nonprofit or Organization — Monmouth Independence Family YMCA; Monmouth Public Library; and Partnerships in Community Living Inc.

Food and Beverage Service — Burgerville; Arena Sports Bar & Grill; and San Antonio.

Personal Service Provider — Monmouth Fitness Club; Central Vision Clinic; and Ash Creek Animal Clinic.

Professional Service Provider — Monmouth Independence Networks; R&J Mobility Service; and White’s Collision Service.

Financial Service Provider — MAPS Credit Union; US Bank; and Oregon State Credit Union.

Citizen awards

First Citizen — Traci Weston; Steve Milligan; and Joyce Wahl.

Distinguished Service — Sandy Newland; Ryan Kingsella; and Josh Cronin.

Junior Citizen — Ashley Wallace; Andrew Love; and Alanna Schmidt.

Educator of the Year — Dale Claussen; Michele Sparks; and Marcella Stepp-Rodarte.

Education Support Staff Employee of the Year — Aubrey Pierce; Becky McMillian; and Kevin Wiens.

The event will be Friday at Eola Hills Wine Cellars, catered by the Sassy Onion and Ovenbird Bakery.

A balloon raffle will include more prizes than in the past, said Sandra Paoli, vice-president of the Monmouth-Independence Chamber of Commerce board of directors, who sponsors the event.

To participate, a balloon may be purchased for $10. Before the program begins at 6:30 p.m., everyone is invited to pop their balloon to retrieve the number inside, which corresponds to a prize valued at at least $10.

Table decorations will be included in the balloon raffle this year, Paoli said, which is something new.

“One of them is $200 off a photography session with the Haugens, so some of the prizes are pretty darn good,” Paoli said.

Party-goers also will have a chance to win a fine bottle of wine in the wine spin for $20 per spin. Paoli said wine bottles will be worth at least $20.

“Some of them are really fancy bottles,” she said.

The event begins at 5:30 p.m. with social hour. Opening remarks and invocation will be at 6:30, followed by the buffet at 7 and the program at 7:45.

“My favorite part of this event is, always, getting the volunteers together that help make our community what it is and honor them, because without them, we wouldn’t be here,” Paoli said.

The winners of six business awards and five citizen awards will be announced at the event.

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