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LEBANON — Six people, two businesses and a nonprofit were honored for their outstanding community contributions Tuesday evening at the Lebanon Distinguished Service Awards, held at the Boulder Falls Inn Conference Center.

The 2015 Lebanon community awards for First Senior Citizen, Man of the Year, and Junior First Citizen were presented by last year’s winners. The award for Woman of the Year was presented by the 2012 Woman of the Year, Laura Gillott, as 2014 winner Rachel Kittson-Maqatish was out of town.

Woman of the Year: Denise Downer

Gillott said Downer received the award for helping out with youth in the community, which includes going mission trips to Mexico with her church, attending city council meetings and overseeing the Mayor’s Youth Council

“The one praise we continually hear in describing our winner was that she has a strong commitment to young people,” Gillott said. “One letter indicated that she had been involved in guiding, supporting, encouraging and fundraising for young people for over 30 years.”

Man of the Year:

Bill Flesher

Brian Vandetta said Flesher deserved the award because of his successful work in commercial real estate and his extensive volunteerism.

Flesher’s volunteer work has included participating in several community organizations, such as delivering for Meals on Wheels, assisting with the Lebanon 2040 Visioning Task Force and participating in a post-prison mentor program.

Vandetta added that Flesher keeps a enthusiastic demeanor.

“His positive and infectious attitude benefits us all who have the pleasure of being around him,” Vandetta said. “The ‘Man of the Year’ title does not do this individual justice for all he has done and all he continues to do for our great community.”

Sr. First Citizen:

Dorothy Page

Steve Latimer presented the award to Page. The award is given to a person age 60 or older for a lifetime of volunteer service to the community.

Latimer said Page devoted much of her life to Lebanon schools and the city.

“In the ‘60s, a small group of concerned citizens, led by this lady, recognized the need for a cooperative preschool and together created the first preschool co-op in Lebanon,” Latimer said. “This preschool continued for 40 years, providing enriching experiences for the youngsters of Lebanon and parenting education for young families.”

Page has played the pipe organ at First Presbyterian Church every Sunday since she was 18.

“She has known and loved Lebanon and its people for more than 90 years and continues to be a bright strong force to change people’s lives,” Latimer said.

Jr. First Citizen:

Michelle Steinhebel

Last year’s Jr. First Citizen, Wyatt King, said Steinhebel received the award for chronicling the history of Lebanon and shaping its voice, first as a writer and editor for the Lebanon Express, and continues to promote the city’s medical school by working as the public affairs specialist for the College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific Northwest. She also serves on the Lebanon 2040 vision citizens task force.

“She is a dedicated mother, wife and daughter, who supports more causes than you can count on your fingers, and quite possibly toes,” King said. “She is now using her vision, insight and ability to communicate to define the path Lebanon is about to take on as we work toward our bright future.”

Frankie Gray award: Terri Krebs

Lebanon Chamber of Commerce Office Manager Mary Garner presented the Frankie Gray “Answering the Call Award” to Krebs.

“The Frankie Gray ‘Answering the Call’ Award was designed to honor a person of any age who is noted for ‘answering the call,’ Garner said. “A person you can depend on. This person has unselfish devotion to serving friends, community and anyone in need whenever called upon.”

Garner presented a long list of the activities Krebs has been involved with. This included teaching every class, except kindergarten, for 16 years in several Lebanon schools, she co-founded Lebanon Association for Theatre Arts in 2008 and started a musical theater camp for second to eighth graders in 2010.

“When referring to Terri, people have told us she is the ‘perfect fit’ for ‘Answering the Call,” Garner said. “Her talent level is high, matched by passion, organizational skill and volunteerism without equal in Lebanon.”

Business awards

Garrett presented the awards from the Lebanon Chamber of Commerce for Business Leader of the Year, Small Business of the Year, Large Business of the Year and Nonprofit of the Year.

Joyce Kanoff was named business leader of the year. Kanoff owns several H&R block locations, and opened a new restaurant “Zoup” in Corvallis. Kanoff is a strong supporter of education and the communities she works in, which include Linn and Benton County, Garrett said.

Adam Kirkpatrick Family Dentistry was named Small Business of the Year.

Kirkpatrick is a supporter of chamber activities, the Lebanon Downtown Association, and has served on city of Lebanon committees.

“Every Halloween his dental office does a candy buy-back,” Garrett said.”After paying all the kids for their Halloween candy, Dr. Adam has his staff ship candy oversees.”

Best Western Premier Boulder Falls Inn was named the Large Business of the Year.

The hotel has made a significant impact on the community, Garrett said.

“They’ve hosted nearly 70 community or nonprofit events at a reduced rate, which has allowed these organization to channel more of their proceeds toward their important causes for the community. They also sponsor many organizations and indeed are the presenting sponsor for the evening’s DSA.”

The Boys & Girls Club of the Greater Santiam was named as this year’s Nonprofit of the Year.

The Club serves 50,000 meals per year to local children, Garrett said.

“It is a safe, warm, positive place for kids,” Garrett said. “It’s not just day care; they provide structured, organized, quality programs with trained, dedicated staff.”


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