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Celebrating the ‘pioneers of our community’

A wagon outlined in lights, antique farm implements as table centerpieces and cowboy buffet style catering set the scene for The Dalles Area Chamber of Commerce's 2015 Distinguished Citizens awards banquet honoring the "True Pioneers of our Time.”

The banquet was held Jan. 15 at The Fort Dalles Readiness Center to honor citizens and businesses of The Dalles area, welcome new members to the chamber board of directors and say farewell to the outgoing chamber board members. The event was sold out and had an attendance of 256 people.


Fred Wendt, 2014 Outstanding Volunteer. Contributed photos


Fred Wendt was named the Volunteer of the Year. Wendt spent over 30 years as a teacher in the community and continues to reach out to kids through the Shriners Club as “Freddie the clown.”


Andy Felderman, 20914 Outstanding Youth. Contributed photos


The Outstanding Youth award went to The Dalles High School student Andy Felderman. Felderman helps with tutoring fellow students, and works with the youth program ACTS as a youth leader. Through his community involvement and compassion for others, Felderman has set a great example for other youth in the community, according to the chamber.


The Business of the Year award was made to Discover Rentals. Matt Larsen accepted the award. He and his crew can be seen all over town setting up and taking down equipment in preparation for every large event, and provide community support and outstanding customer service, the chamber explained in making the award.


John Shearer, 2014 Outstanding Ag Achievement. Contributed photos


John Shearer of Shearer Sprayers, Inc., was awarded the Outstanding Ag Achievement award. Several local cherry orchardists have stated that John saved the cherry industry by his response and ability to act quickly in controlling the cherry fruit fly throughout the Mid-Columbia and preserving the visual appeal of local sweet cherries in the fresh market, according to the chamber presentation. The agriculture industry throughout the region has benefited from the many contributions and the positive impact made by John and his family, the chamber added.


Tonya Brumley, 2014 Woman of the Year. Contributed photos


Woman of the Year was awarded to Tonya Brumley. Brumley’s commitment goes well beyond her job, the chamber noted. She consistently gives her best efforts to every organization that she is a part of, often going well above and beyond anything that is asked of her. She was awarded for her dependability, attention to detail and true compassion for the community, the chamber added.


David Griffith 2014 Man of the Year. Contributed photos


David Griffith of Griffith Motors was named the Man of the Year. He was unable to attend the banquet. Griffith has been an enthusiastic and generous giver of time and financial support, the chamber said in making the award. He has served and continues to serve on many boards and committees always being mindful of what is good for The Dalles, the chamber added.

The evening was catered by Cowboy’s Grill and Catering, and live music was performed by Dianna Lysgaard and Mike Stillman.

Entertainment included a “Wagons Ho” auction complete with items from Cousin’s Country Inn, A Kidz Dental Zone, Casa El Mirador, Subway and Ernie’s Locks & Keys as well as many others. Donated gifts were also raffled throughout the evening program.


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