Recognizes dedication of community servants

BILL VOLLMER - Carolyn Harvey accepts the Community Champion of the Year award, on behalf of herself and her sister Joy Harvey, at the annual Chamber of Commerce awards banquet Sept. 15.Citizens who went the extra mile in their dedication to the community were recognized at the Madras-Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce Awards Banquet, held Sept. 15, at the Erickson Aircraft Collection.

The theme of this year’s banquet was “Celebrating 70 Years of Water,” in honor of the establishment of North Unit Irrigation District, which brought irrigation water, and generations of new farmers to the county.

Local growers Gary Harris and Marty Richards gave a program on the history of the formation of the irrigation district, and the population boom that followed.

BILL VOLLMER - Rick Allen, left, congratulates Bill Houts on the Senior Citizen of the Year Award.
The Senior Citizen of the Year award was presented to longtime Madras resident Bill Houts.

Presenter Rick Allen noted Houts is a generous, caring and happy person, who has advocated and supported many people and events in the community. He has been instrumental in many projects in the areas; most recently working to help develop the former Westside School into a community center.

Houts’ plaque congratulated him “For a lifetime of visions and accomplishments in our community.”

BILL VOLLMER - Bruce Hoyt was honored as Volunteer of the Year. Hoyt volunteers at the food bank and for the Airshow of the Cascades.
The Volunteer of the Year award went to Madras resident Bruce Hoyt.

In presenting the plaque that read “For his abundance of generosity to those that need,” John Curnutt said of Hoyt “He always gives his time willingly, as well as intelligently, using his expertise to make the project, or event work for the better of everyone concerned.”

Hoyt is a member of the Airshow of the Cascades, and also volunteers at the Jefferson County Food Bank.

BILL VOLLMER - Retired Judge George Neilson presents Amy Bonkosky with the Public Servant of the Year Award. 
George Neilson congratulated Amy Bonkosky as the Public Servant of the Year.

Bonkosky is the Trial Court Administrator for the 22nd Judicial District, and shepherded the new Jefferson County Courthouse building project to completion.

Mike Weber recognized North Unit Irrigation District with the Business of the Year award and a plaque that read “Always working for our Jefferson County Agricultural Community.”

BILL VOLLMER - Mike Weber, left, comments on the work done by North Unit Irrigation District this year, which earned it the Business of the Year Award, as NUID Manager Mike Britton, center, and NUID board members Vern Bare and Marty Richards listen.
NUID was commended for its continuing perseverance to keep Jefferson County a farming community, and for the protection of the water rights for all agriculture in the county.

Accepting the award were NUID Manager Mike Britton and NUID board of directors members Vern Bare and Marty Richards.

Unable to single it down to one person, the Community Champion of the Year award was presented to a pair of champions -- sisters Carolyn and Joy Harvey – for their “Dedication to the fitness and wellness of our community.”

Presenters Sharon Miller and Doreen DeWitt noted the Harveys are very committed, caring and knowledgeable in their health-oriented passions, and helped challenge and cheerlead many citizens to improve their lifestyles.

“For over 30 years, both of these individuals have volunteered in community health events, facilitated activities, taught exercise classes, and have been catalysts in fitness and wellness efforts for our citizens,” Miller said.

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