PORT ANGELES — Longtime volunteer Norma Turner was awarded the Citizen of the Year Award in the event organized by the Port Angeles Regional Chamber of Commerce.
The audience rose to give her a standing ovation as she walked to the stage to receive the award.
She in turn thanked several others before saying that it was not an easy task for the community judges to make a selection because of the “people doing amazing work in this amazing community.”
Turner’s was one of six community awards presented Saturday in the Vern Burton Community Center before a packed house at the third annual Port Angeles Community Awards Gala.
Other awards and recipients are:
• Business of the Year — Angeles Electric.
• Young Leader of the Year — Addie Holland.
• Emerging Business of the Year — Studio360.
• Organization of the Year — Port Angeles Food Bank.
• Educator of the Year — Doug Gailey.
The awards were presented by Terry Ward, publisher of the Peninsula Daily News, a co-sponsor of the event.
In addition, the chamber presented its inaugural Chamber Legacy awards, an idea conceived by past board president Jim Haguewood, to honor an organization and an individual.
Black Ball Ferry Line, which marked the 60th anniversary of the Coho ferry’s first sailing across the Strait of Juan de Fuca to Victoria in December, was recognized for its longevity and its reputation for excellence.
Ryan Anderson, co-owner of the employee-owned company and vice president of terminal operations based in Port Angeles, accepted the award.
Anderson, who has been with Black Ball for 26 years, shared a memory of sitting in Haguewood’s Restaurant in downtown Port Angeles when he was 7 and watching the Coho come into the harbor.
The inaugural Chamber Legacy award to an individual was awarded posthumously.
Marie Moran, widow of Jim Moran, accepted the award in his place.
Jim Moran — a Vietnam veteran, former city council member and volunteer on more boards than friends could name — died in his sleep at the age of 71 in November.
“Jim would love to be here tonight,” Marie Moran said. “It was his kind of party.”
She talked of his community work and said she hopes “we all continue contributing” to “make Port Angeles the fabulous place that it is.”
• Citizen of Year — Norma Turner — co-chair of the Boys & Girls Clubs $8.3 million capital campaign for a larger Port Angeles clubhouse, Prevention Works founder, Boys & Girls Clubs board member, a past chair of the Peninsula Housing Authority and a founder and volunteer of MANNA (Ministry Assisting Neighbors in Need with Agape) — “contributes 100 percent of her time and efforts as a community volunteer,” nominators said.
“Because of Norma’s efforts, hundreds of young people’s lives on the Olympic Peninsula have been improved.”
Fellow finalists for Citizen of the Year were John Brewer — former editor and publisher of the Peninsula Daily News, past president of the Port Angeles Business Association and downtown mural restoration organizer, as well as the recipient of the Clallam County Community Service Awards for Public Service in 2018; and Christine Loewe, who developed the Franklin school’s garden program, founded Elevate Clallam — a group devoted to getting more women into leadership roles — promotes the annual Cranksgiving food bank fundraiser and manages the Winter Ice Village website.
• Business of the Year — Angeles Electric, owned by Ken and Heidi Simpson, “is always there behind the scenes,” nominators said. “When asked for help their answer is always yes.”
Ken Simpson declared he had been rooting for Swain’s General Store, another finalist, and talked of the family business started by his grandfather.
He told the group that he and Heidi “met while decorating a homecoming parade float for Port Angeles High School.”
Gesturing with the curved glass award he had been handed, he said he would find a way to hang it on the wall “and it’s going to be on our wall forever.”
In addition to Swain’s —described as “a perfect example of a great hometown business,” First Federal was another finalist. First Federal “sponsors so many local events that it would be impossible to name them all,” the nomination said, while maintaining “a small town, community bank culture with a personal touch.”
• Young Leader of the Year — Addie Holland, the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Olympic Peninsula Youth-of-the-Year in 2019 also won on the state level before competing regionally. She continues to promote the agency.
“I would not be here without the Boys & Girls Clubs,” she said Saturday. “I’m glad I’ve been able to support the kids” at the “place that raised me.”
Other finalists were Ashley Liberty, co-owner of Availfit and community volunteer; and Lacey Fry, executive assistant at Serenity House, who has taken on a variety of duties in aid of the homeless.
• Emerging Business of the Year — Studio360, owned by Salina Treider, was described as “not only an inclusive and safe place for youth to grow but also a place that inspires the dancers to give back to our community.”
Said Treider on Saturday: “Opening a business is always scary. This community has had open arms from Day One.”
She said that being able to dance and perhaps inspire the 300 students per week means she is able “to live my dream every week.”
Other finalists were Diehl’s Do It All, a cleaning business operated by Lindsey Diehl that helps train workers, nominators said; and Heart & Passion Films founded by Matt Sagen, which tells the stories of nonprofits and businesses.
• Organization of the Year — Port Angeles Food Bank, which feeds more than 9,000 households a year, now allows clients to “shop” for their families using points they spend like money at a grocery store, giving those it serves a sense of accomplishment. It also has expanded several programs.
“The food bank doesn’t operate without community support,” said Emily Dexter, executive director of the food bank, on Saturday as she thanked the public for its donations and for the 8,000 annual volunteer hours.
Other finalists are the Lincoln Park BMX, which has increased participation at the Lincoln Park BMX track by 300 percent since 2017; and the Port Angeles Fine Arts Center, which showcases the artwork of the community in both its gallery and outdoors in the 5-acre Webster’s Woods.
• Educator of the Year — Doug Gailey began his acceptance speech with the comment, “This is silly. Thank you.”
Gailey, who will retire as music instructor at Port Angeles High School this year, has led the band program at Port Angeles High School to taking numerous awards during his tenure, which began in 1993.
Finalist Gary Pringle, principle of Hamilton Elementary School, was credited along with fellow finalist Krista Winn, physical education teacher at Hamilton, with the school receiving the national Whole Child Award in 2018 and a National Distinguished School award in 2019.
Executive Editor Leah Leach can be reached at 360-417-3530 or at [email protected].