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Exeter announces annual awards

Exeter announces annual awards

Exeter winners to be honored at Feb. 24 banquet; nomination deadline for Woodlake Awards is today, Jan. 31

By Reggie Ellis @Reggie_SGN

EXETER – A family-man financial advisor, a pet photographer, a dancing mother and mentor, the self proclaimed Marilyn Monroe of Exeter and a restaurant providing a French twist on American cuisine were all surprised in the last week with the news that they were the recipients of this year’s annual awards from the Exeter Chamber of Commerce.

In true Exeter tradition, all of this year’s recipients were surprised by a group of friends, family and fellow business owners last week. Man of the Year Garrett German was having a luncheon for his employees at 20/20 Financial Group when unexpected guests showed up to give him some just desserts for all of his work with Chamber and as a member of the Exeter Kiwanis Club. He was joined by his wife Becka and their six children.

Cristy Jensen poses for a photograph with her students after her studio, Exeter City Dance, was named Business of the Year. Photo by Reggie Ellis.

Cristy Jensen poses for a photograph with her students after her studio, Exeter City Dance, was named Business of the Year. Photo by Reggie Ellis.

After years of capturing photos of Exeter families and their furry friends, Denise Albright found herself as the subject for other cameras when she tearfully accepted the Woman of the Year award while sharing coffee with friends at Hometown Emporium.

As a dancer, mother and business owner, Cristy Jensen has excellent balancing skills. They came in handy when she was teaching a class, holding her baby in one hand and covering her shocked face with the other when the Chamber presented her with the Business of the Year award.

Joann Dodson was holding the balloons to announce an award until she realized they were for the Heritage Award winner - her! Photo by Paul Myers.

Joann Dodson was holding the balloons to announce an award until she realized they were for the Heritage Award winner – her! Photo by Paul Myers.

This year’s Heritage Award winner, Joann Dodson, was holding the balloons as she accompanied the entourage of chamber representatives to Hometown Emporium. Once there, they told her that the balloons were for her. The Chamber capped off the week of awards when they told Café Lafayette that they would be receiving the  Beautification Award for converting the courtyard, patio and interior of the restaurant into a high-quality yet quaint restaurant, as if plucked from the French countryside and dropped in downtown Exeter.

All of the winners, including Recycler of the Year presented by Mid Valley Disposal, will be honored at the Chamber’s 95th annual awards banquet at 6 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 24 at the Exeter Memorial Building, 324 N. Kaweah Ave. in Exeter. Tickets are $50 per person. Table sponsorships are available for $500 and include eight tickets, complimentary drink tickets and recognition in the program. For more information, call the Exeter Chamber of Commerce at 559-592-3171 or stop by their office at 101 W. Pine St. in Exeter.

Woodlake Awards

While Exeter honorees have been announced, there is still time to submit nominations for community awards in Woodlake. The deadline to submit nominations is today, Jan. 31. Anyone can nominate people for awards as lone as they meet the following criteria:

Man, Woman and Youth of the Year nominees must currently live within the Woodlake Unified School District boundaries. Youth of the Year include one girl and one boy.

Spirit of Woodlake nominees do not have to live within the school district but must have a connection to Woodlake and exemplify the Spirit of Woodlake.

Youth Mentor nominees must have volunteered to service youth within the school district, such as coaches, teachers, ministers, youth organization leaders, etc.

Organization of the Year nominees need not be based in Woodlake but must serve the community within the boundaries of the school district.

Business of the Year nominees must be located within the 93286 area code. This award is selected by the Woodlake Valley Chamber of Commerce.

Recycler of the Year nominees are any person or group that has made a significant contribution to recycling in Woodlake.  This award is selected by Mid Valley Disposal, the waste hauler for the City of Woodlake.

Other Awards (i.e. Veteran of the Year, Man & Woman of the Decade, Lifetime Achievement Award) will be determined at the discretion of the selection committee each year.

A completed nomination form must be turned into Woodlake City Hall 350 N. Valencia, Woodlake, CA  93286 or emailed to WoodlakeAwards@gmail.com by Jan. 31, 2018. Incomplete forms will not be considered.

Winners will be honored at the Woodlake Awards Banquet on Friday, March 2 at the Woodlake Memorial Building, located at 355 N. Acacia St. in Woodlake. Social Hour begins at 6 p.m. followed by dinner at 7 p.m.

For questions contact the City of Woodlake, 350 N. Valencia, Woodlake, CA  93286 or email  WoodlakeAwards@gmail.com  or call 564-2054 or 564-2485.

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