Chamber hands out annual awards

I know every year we hear descriptions like "the best ever," but truly, this year it was the best Snoqualmie Valley Chamber of Commerce Gala I've ever had the pleasure of attending. Jolene Kelly, owner of Bella Vita and gala committee chair, did an absolutely terrific job of putting this one together. Every detail was wonderful, from seating assignments and decorative table numbers, to disposable cameras on each table and a very funny comedian, as well as a fantastic band (well, I guess I get credit for nailing the music).

We had 150 attendees who showed up in their finest attire and were professionally photographed by Jeff Goble. Nintendo of America sponsored this treat, along with the disposable cameras. Thanks for the many door prizes donated by local businesses. The comedian was Seattle's own Brad Upton, and was sponsored by Puget Sound Energy, Issaquah Bank, Iron Age, Somerset Auto Glass and Bella Vita. Brad had everyone in stitches for his 45-minute show, which included WSU Cougar and small-town jokes, among others.

Snoqualmie Ridge Golf Club outdid themselves with their exquisite food selection and decorating. They offered a short tour of the golf club before dinner, and were extremely gracious in all the details of the program. The Matt Jenkins Band (sponsored by Wilderness Glass) played a nice variety of music that kept us all dancing and wanting more - at least this dancer wanted more music and less talking!

The awards presented by Jinks Snow, 2001 chamber president, were as follows: New Business of the Year was Bella Vita; Business of the Year went to Snoqualmie Pass Publishing; Volunteer of the Year was Kim Karrick of Snoqualmie Valley Eyecare; and the President's Award went to Karen Youngblood.

Incoming president, Jim McKiernan, announced the 2002 board and executive officers, and Lisa Schaffer, director, presented outgoing president Jinks Snow with a commemorative plaque, as well as a computer program that has hundreds of quilting designs, as a parting gift instead of the traditional flowers and clock.

I think it would be safe to say that a good time was, indeed, had by all. And for those who missed it, there's always next year. Anyone interested in getting involved in the planning of the next event is invited to contact the chamber office and get on the committee!

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