By Laura Swanson, Editor, Tillamook County Pioneer
“It was an honor to be nominated,” was our mantra as we, the Tillamook County Pioneer partners and friends attended the annual Tillamook Chamber Awards Banquet and fundraising auction last night January 19th. The locally sourced meal started with a variety of seafood, cheeses, beer and wine, and the buffet style meal features dozens of local food purveyors. The capacity crowd cheered bidders on to top the $1,000 mark for the oral auction items, and everyone anticipated the upcoming awards.
The first award winners to take the stage celebrated Madeline’s Vintage Marketplace’s win as “small business of the year” (under 10 employees), and received accolades for “surviving” the disruptions of the downtown construction and building remodels.
The category the Pioneer was nominated in – “Program of the Year” – went to the deserving Shop with a Cop program which has provided a way for local law enforcement to do one-on-one outreach with hundreds of at-risk youth and their families, humanizing cops and giving these kids and their families a boost during the holidays.
For “business of the year”, the Pastega family and friends enjoyed their recognition for the Blue Heron French Cheese Company. “How can it be 40 years?” enthused owner Denny Pastega. “I wasn’t expecting this and will just speak from the heart. This town has been very good to us, our family. Thank you so much.”
The Highway 101/6 project was awarded “development of the year” and Tillamook Mayor Suzanne Weber commented, “Tillamook showed true grit throughout the construction.”
Ten individuals nominated for “citizen of the year”, all with a long list of contributions to the community, the Chamber had a difficult decision – as Mayor Weber noted, “All are worthy.” Then announced the name of Ken Werner as the award recipient.
Congratulations to all the 2019 Tillamook Chamber Awards Winners!