Belated chamber awards event was fun one

If you haven’t watched the Sweet Home Chamber of Commerce awards presentation, we’ll just say it might be a lot more entertaining than simply reading our story about the event, which starts on page 1.

That’s because the program was a well-put-together, mostly virtual event that was … just fun.

Despite social distancing and coronavirus restrictions, which prompted the chamber to postpone the event from its original scheduled date in March, it was important to hold this. Participants gathered in the yard outside the chamber building and, as each recipient’s turn came, he or she entered and received an award from the presenters in front of the camera. It was smooth, it was classy and it was good.

Awards might seem superfluous to some recipients and members of the community, who don’t do their good deeds for public acclaim. Humility is a virtue.

But these awards highlight attributes and actions that benefit us all: generosity with time and money, energy in efforts to serve the community and help others, basic unselfishness demonstrated in an era where, more and more, it’s all about No. 1. Although honorees are often embarrassed at the public acclaim, the award isn’t about them – it’s about what they’ve accomplished to the benefit of all of us.

As an aside, we wonder whether an award is legitimately the recognition of public service when the community doesn’t even know whom they’re presenting it to, as is the case with this year’s Patti Woods Woman of the Year Award recipient, who wanted to remain anonymous.

As we say, we appreciate genuine humility but the purpose of an award, at least these awards, is to highlight contributions made by a local resident to the rest of us, the community. Regardless of the reasons for not wanting public recognition, the response of the recipient basically negates the spirit and purpose of the award, which we will be reminded of in perpetuity when we see lists of past award winners with the designation “anonymous.”

Nonetheless, kudos to chamber officials for going forward with this. In the midst of the drastic disruption to our normal lives and routines caused by the coronavirus pandemic response, it’s good to have constancy, a public attestation that life goes on and some things don’t change, like true public service.

Take a look.