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Polson Chamber recognizes citizen, business leaders

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POLSON — The Polson Chamber of Commerce held its annual awards banquet on Jan. 28 at the KwaTaqNuk Resort to celebrate local businesses and members of the community. 

This year’s event, “Moonlight Over Polson, a Roaring Good Time,” encouraged attendees to dress up and enjoy a 1920s themed evening. According to Chamber President Louis Cross, the annual banquets have been going on since before he joined the board in early 2010 and have always had a theme to help add extra entertainment to the evening.

“The Chamber Banquet is a time that we can recognize our members through a dinner, we can all network and get together and see each other,” Cross commented. “Everybody is running and working all the time, (so) this is a chance where we can all be together as a community. It’s also a chance for the chamber itself to recognize businesses and people for different things throughout the community.”

Those who receive awards at the banquet are all nominated by the public rather than the Chamber board, ensuring people are recognized by their peers for their involvement in the community. The nomination process begins about a month prior to the banquet with emails sent out by the Chamber to ask for nominees, a process they keep up for the month to ensure as many nominations are received as possible before taking them in front of the nomination committee. 

The awards given out this year recognizing businesses and individuals in the community were:

—  Nonprofit of the Year: North Lake County Library Foundation – Next Chapter Campaign

—  Polson Leadership Award: Carol Lynn Lapotka

—  Citizen of the Year: Toni Whealon

—  Volunteer of the Year: Katie Walter

—  Business of the Year: Lake City Bakery

—  Chamber Ambassador of the Year: Rod Johnson

“Our passion is our community, our passion is our people,” Cross stated. “We’ve got a great board of directors, they all volunteer their time, so they’re committed. They live here, they’re among us, and some of our goals are just to continue to provide service, continue to expand the commerce and outreach from the Polson area.”

The Polson Chamber of Commerce also holds monthly gatherings to help local businesses connect and showcase themselves, including luncheons and the Support Polson Late Afternoon Social Hour (SPLASH). SPLASH is held at different times each month, ensuring as many people as possible can attend. To see upcoming events with the Chamber or to get involved, visit: 

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