Lonnie Archibald accepts the Forks Citizen of the Year award from master of ceremonies John Calhoun.

Lonnie Archibald accepts the Forks Citizen of the Year award from master of ceremonies John Calhoun.

Forks chamber honors outstanding community members

FORKS — Lonnie Archibald was recognized for almost 50 years of photographing youth sporting events as he received the Citizen of the Year Award at the Forks Chamber of Commerce’s 23rd annual Wine and Cheese Fundraiser and award ceremony.

Archibald — whose photographs have appeared in the Peninsula Daily News, Sequim Gazette and Forks Forum and who is now photographing the grandchildren of the first athletes he pictured — was given the award Saturday.

Also honored Saturday were Conner Nielson, owner of Clear River Construction, who was presented with the Business of the Year Award, and Mark Soderlind, who was chosen for the Volunteer of the Year Award.

The Inez Halverson Community Service Award, which was created this year to recognize entities that make a big community impact but don’t fit the Business of the Year criteria, was given to the Olympic Corrections Center.

“It’s a great honor to receive this award. There are many who deserve it more than me,” said Archibald, who has also won awards for his news photographs and written several books documenting the history of the West End.

“So many here in the West End have helped to keep this community alive even after the devastation of fires as well as the spotted owl. This is a great community with citizens who care.”

Nielson was recognized for his business ethics and for taking the time, even as he was establishing his new business, to volunteer to oversee the building of a Habitat for Humanity house.

Soderlind was recognized for his continued efforts as chairman of the Forks Old Fashioned Fourth of July. In addition to organizing Forks’ oldest celebration, he gives up every summer weekend to take the Forks float to neighboring festivals.

He was unavailable Saturday evening to receive the Volunteer of the Year Award. He was attending Dad’s Weekend in Pullman, where his grandson attends Washington State University.

The Inez Halverson Community Service Award was named after Inez, or Halvy, as she was better known. Halverson was a tireless volunteer as a 4-H leader, a member of multiple groups and active in Clallam County United Way. She died in December 2008 and was never selected as a chamber award winner.

The Olympic Corrections Center was recognized for the activities in which staff and inmates are involved almost on a daily basis. Some of those activities include landscaping and small projects for various entities in the community, as well as donating handcrafted items to the annual Quillayute Valley scholarship auction.

Superintendent Jason Bennett accepted the award and was joined by several OCC staff members. He said the work the corrections center does is easy because Forks is such a great community.

While waiting for award winners to be announced, attendees mingled, bid on silent auction items — with proceeds benefiting the Forks Visitor Center — and sipped on an array of wines from Harbinger Winery of Port Angeles.

The theme this year was “Hall-O-Wine,” and many came in costume.

John Calhoun served as master of ceremonies for the evening.


Christi Baron is the editor of the Forks Forum, which is part of the Olympic Peninsula News Group, composed of Sound Publishing newspapers Peninsula Daily News, Sequim Gazette and Forks Forum. Reach her at cbaron@forksforum.com.

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