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The Mount Angel Chamber of Commerce has announced the winners of the 2014 First Citizen Awards.


The First Citizen Awards banquet will be held at 6 p.m. Feb. 23 at the Mount Angel Festhalle.

Tickets are $30 and are available at US Bank and Columbia Bank in Mount Angel.

Jim and Marilyn Hall

First Citizens

Photo Credit: COURTESY MARILYN HALL - Jim and Marilyn Hall, Mount Angel First CitizensLong-time residents Jim and Marilyn Hall are being recognized for their many years of community volunteer work.

Jim Hall has served on many foundations and boards in Mount Angel. He has served on the St. Mary Church finance committee for years and has assisted on the Benedictine Sisters finance committee. He has been treasurer of the Mount Angel Community Foundation since its inception.

Marilyn Hall has been working with the school children’s Oktoberfest dancing for more than 26 years. She has collected and maintained more than 200 dirndls and lederhosen for this program. She started a young adult dance troupe and designed the outfits for the young ladies. She has organized a kindergarten dance group, conceived an original song for them to dance to and recruited a musician to score and produce the song. She started Kleinstädtlers and the Engelberg Dancers, nationally recognized dance groups that perform throughout the Northwest.

Marilyn Hall has been leading the singing and skits at St. Mary Vacation Bible School since it started more than 25 years ago.

She also helps coordinate the women’s Bible study group that has been meeting during the school year at her home for the past 10 years.

Citizens that nominated Jim and Marilyn Hall stated that “together they have raised a family of eight children. Mount Angel has truly benefited from the generous volunteerism of this remarkable family.”

Amelia GrosJacques

Junior First Citizen

Photo Credit: KENNEDY HIGH SCHOOL - Amelia GrosJacques, Junior First Citizen

Amelia GrosJacques has volunteered on a number on community projects including the Hazelnut Festival, Oktoberfest information booth, Habitat for Humanity Restore and the St. Mary Church Ofest booth.

GrosJacques is a student leader. She is Associated Student Body secretary, secretary of Future Business Leaders of America and the National Honor Society, president of Habitat for Humanity and an active member in Health Occupations Students of America. She is team captain of the basketball team and participates in volleyball and track.

GrosJacques has stated that her most rewarding community service activity was helping to build a Habitat for Humanity house. Her positive experience on this project is helping direct her future college studies: She plans on studying health services and earning a degree in business administration to become a health and services manager.

“Volunteering has been a big part of my life and has given me the opportunity to branch out and try new things,” GrosJacques said. “I feel that my future career will be satisfying because it will not only benefit my life but it will also help others.”

Photo Credit: LINDSAY KEEFER - Jerri Halter, Volunteer of the Year

Jerri Halter

Volunteer of the Year

“Everywhere I go in Mount Angel, there is Jerri volunteering, whether it be at the Mount Angel Senior Center or St. Mary Church, Jerri can be counted on to help on any project,” is how one nomination described Jerri Halter.

Halter volunteers at the Mount Angel Senior Center every week. She provides transportation to seniors for medical appointments or errands. She is an active volunteer with St. Mary Church, including cleaning the church, church lector and finance assistant. She is known for her generous volunteer hours and a smile that makes everyone’s day just a little better.

Woodburn Nursery and Azaleas

Business of the Year

Photo Credit: COURTESY TOM FESSLER - Woodburn Nursery and Azaleas is a family affair run by (from left) Bob and Jean Fessler and their children, Sandy Traeger, Rick Fessler, Jodi Arritola, Karen Jaeger and Tom Fessler.With a single 25-by-96-foot greenhouse, Bob and Jean Fessler started Woodburn Nursery and Azaleas.

Today, the multi-generational operation has 400 acres of nursery production and is the country’s largest grower of florist quality azaleas. Their product is shipped weekly across the United States and Canada.

As the operation grew, the Fesslers’ five children began assisting at the nursery on weekends and during summer breaks. Today all five of the Fessler children work in the nursery: Tom is general manager, Rick is operations manager of the greenhouses, Karen is bookkeeper, Sandy is a CPA and Jodi is human resources manager.

“Most work at the nursery is done by hand, so much of the company’s success depends on the 200 employees who provide day-to-day labor,” Tom Fessler said. “The long-term relationship between workers and Woodburn Nursery is unique in such a labor-intensive industry. Several employees have been with the company for more than 20 years. We’ve really surrounded ourselves with capable, talented people. We encourage them to think beyond what they do to how we can make the operation better.”

Bob and Jean Fessler have volunteered with many organizations in Mount Angel, including the Mount Angel School Board, St. Mary Church Finance Council, Oktoberfest and the chamber.

Bob Fessler was awarded the Oregon Association of Nurseries lifetime membership for his support over the past 45 years. Jean Fessler has served on the Silverton Hospital Foundation for many years. Their children serve on many community organizations and state associations.

Jim Kosel

President’s Award

Photo Credit: COURTESY JIM KOSEL - Jim Kosel, President's Award recipientChamber President Pete Wall has selected Jim Kosel to receive the President’s Award. As a volunteer, Kosel attends every chamber board meeting and is credited with rewriting the by-laws and mission statement. He serves on the Wurstfest committee and helps with every flower basket work party.

Kosel and his wife, Martha, chair the kiosk committee. They keep the kiosk updated, make construction improvements and monthly maintain the structure. Kosel serves on the city of Mount Angel Budget Committee. He served as a citizen member of the charter review committee and is a regular participant at city council meetings and activities. Kosel is also an active member of the American Legion.

“Jim’s service to the chamber is invaluable to many of our community activities and he can always be counted on to help,” Wall said.

Troy Stoops

Chamber Volunteer Award

Photo Credit: FILE PHOTO - Troy Stoops, Chamber Volunteer of the YearThe chamber has selected Troy Stoops as Volunteer of the Year for his work on the community fountain.

Stoops is superintendent of the Mount Angel School District but he’s also known as “the guy that cleans the fountain” every month! The “Ode to Joy” fountain requires monthly maintenance including cleaning the sprays, the base and overall scrubbing of the system. Year round, rain or shine, Stoops has volunteered for this task. The fountain is a community show piece because of Stoops’ commitment each month.

Mount Angel Fire District Awards

Each year, the chamber recognizes the volunteers that serve the fire district. The following individuals will be recognized:

Dean Seiler — Firefighter of the Year

Bill Hauth — Officer of the Year

Dale Walker — EMT of the Year

Kyle Stover — Rookie of the Year

Chief’s Awards — Ali-Andrea Johnson, David Ebner and Mark Hagenauer

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