60th Chamber of awards banquet Saturday

Keith Cantrell

For The New Era

The Sweet Home Chamber of Commerce 60th Annual Awards Banquet is scheduled for Saturday, February 7, at 7 p.m. at the Jim Riggs Community Center on 18th Avenue.

This annual celebration was started in 1950 right after World War II for the purpose of recognizing outstanding members of the community who contributed to making Sweet Home a better place to live.

According to Ozzie Shaw, Bob Waibel, Bill Lewis and other long-time residents, the Chamber of Commerce Awards Banquet has had many notable guests over the years including several local politicians, the governor of Oregon and even a prince of Iran!

The categories for the awards begin with the Junior First Citizen Award. This award is given to a citizen between the age of 18-40 who has served the community for 18-20 months with a variety of activities in school, church, community and non-profit charitable organizations. The first Junior First Citizen Award winner was Wayne Roberts in 1950.

The next award is the First Citizen Award and is given to a citizen over the age of 40 who has served the community for five years or more in various capacities by participating in clubs, organizations, community service, working with youth and church activities. The first recipient of this award was C.V. Patterson in 1952.

The Distinguished Service Award is given to a citizen aged 55 or older who has given at least five years to community service in recent or previous years. This award was first presented to Sam Cairnes in 1964.

The Business and Professional Women’s Woman of the Year Award is presented by the Business and Professional Woman?s organization (BPW). Nominees for this award are judged by the BPW for their involvement in club activities, community service, youth activities and church work. This award was first presented in 1956 to Marcella Middleton.

Recently a new award was added to the slate of community participation recognized by the Chamber of Commerce. The Business of the Year Award is given to a business who is a member of the Chamber of Commerce and who has made a sustained contribution to the community for at least five years. The members of this business will have participated individually or collectively in the community in a way that adds to the economic viability and quality of life in Sweet Home. The Business of the Year Award was first presented to The New Era in 1996.

Current nominees for all these awards are kept secret until the night of the banquet so that even the award winners don’t know they are receiving it.

For more information about the awards banquet or to become a member of the Sweet Home Chamber of Commerce, call the office at 367-6186.