Awards gala honors service

Lloyd and Jean Strickland get lifetime achievement award while Orlynn Braaten receives Citizen of the Year during Chamber of Commerce gala

Orlynn Braaten celebrates with his wife Theresa after he wins Citizen of the Year during Clearwater and District Chamber of Commerce's annual Of the Year awards gala on Friday

“We felt that, given their many, many, many years of contribution, it had gone beyond Citizen of the Year and really required a special moment of acknowledgement.”

That was how a Clearwater and District Chamber of Commerce spokesperson explained the decision to award Lloyd and Jean Strickland a Lifetime Community Dedication Award during the Chamber’s 51st annual awards gala on Friday, Nov. 18 in Wells Gray Inn.

“You indeed make this a wonderful place to live,” said Mayor John Harwood about the Stricklands. He said that, in contrast to those who seek personal riches, the couple had brought value to the whole community.

During the Stricklands’ many years in the North Thompson Valley their contributions had included service to their church, the hospital auxiliary, the hospital board, the ambulance service and the former Bear Creek Correctional Center.

Orlynn Braaten was named Citizen of the Year for 2011 during the gala.

“Orlynn loves hockey and loves to share his passion for the game with kids,” wrote his nominator.

Braaten was also recognized for his work at Clearwater Ski Hill.

As his nominator wrote, “He can work a 14-hour day and still get the lights on to make sure that the hill is groomed.”

Other Citizen of the Year nominees were Wes Bieber, Marilyn Collison, Marie Dee, Reo and Sherry Joubert, Nissa McGill and Bert Walker.

Safety Mart won the prize for Best Corporate Citizen.

“I don’t think that Safety Mart has ever denied assistance to a community group and they must get hundreds of requests every year,” wrote the nominator.

Other nominees for Best Corporate Citizen were Home Hardware, Interior Savings, Kurt Dodd Contracting, Pharmasave, and Wadlegger Logging and Construction.

Home Hardware won the Business Excellence Award.

“If you can’t find something, there is always someone willing to help you,” wrote the nominator. “They treat every customer like they were a VIP.”

Other nominees for Business Excellence were Gateway Grill, Pharmasave, Royal Bank and Yellowhead Daycare.

Business Person of the Year went to Doug Borrow.

“He may specialize in one facet of business but when markets change, he changes his offerings to the needs of the markets,” wrote his nominator.

Also nominated for Business Person of the Year were Jack Keough, Jeff Lamond, Todd Phillips, Jackson Rempel, Marilou Roy and Bonnie Ruttan.

Kal Tire took home the Service Excellence Award.

“Kal Tire is one of those great businesses that we could not do without,” wrote the nominator.

Aspen Auto Parts, Chelsea Braaten, Jim’s Food Market, Home Hardware, Lisa Nadeau, Marilou Roy, Philip Strickland and Wells Gray Inn were the other Service Excellence nominees.

Rookie of the Year went to the Gateway Grill in Clearwater Lodge.

“Great food and great service! Wishing them many more years ahead and great success,” wrote the nominator.

Other nominees for Rookie of the Year were The Grooming Shop (Lee Chaisson) and Gobsmacked.

Wells Gray Community Forest won the Community Spirit award.

“They have taken our community forest from just an idea to a smooth functioning, successful and profitable organization that will continue to benefit our community for years to come,” wrote the nominator.

Cindy Wilgosh, Clearwater Ski Hill, Hospital Auxiliary and the Regatta Committee were the other Community Spirit nominees.

The Youth Leadership and Initiative Award went to Nicole Madden.

“I am nominating Nicole Madden for her amazing fundraising path for cancer,” her nomination papers read. “It was incredible to read her accomplishment of not only raising $5,00 but having her head shaved.”

Also nominated for Youth Leadership and Initiative were Jordan Akers and Tori Barstow.



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