As the new director of the Crescent City-Del Norte Chamber of Commerce, Cindy Vosburg said she’ll be excited to participate in her first Del Norte Pride Awards dinner.

“Back in 2004, the publisher of Del Norte Triplicate had a vision of honoring and recognizing community members,” Vosburg said. “In our little community, especially being an ocean community, it’s easy to show your pride. These awards help to showcase that pride.”

The annual awards recognize individuals and organizations in the following categories: business leader of the year, best new business, best nonprofit, volunteer of the year, ambassador of the year, and the Del Norte Pride Award.

Starting the second week of December, readers of The Triplicate will find a voter’s ballot to make nominations in each category.

The winners will be announced at the 16th-annual awards dinner, Jan. 25 at the Tolowa Event Center in Smith River.

The final category of the awards dinner will be the annual Lifetime Achievement Award. Longtime Crescent City resident Kevin Hartwick of Cholwell, Benz & Hartwick chooses the recipient. It’s Hartwick’s duty to seriously weigh the contributions of each of the possible recipients.

“The bottom line is, there’s a real variety of folks with business successes who contribute back to the community,” Hartwick said. “They come from various backgrounds - legal, educational, financial - with the common characteristic of caring deeply for Crescent City.”

Hartwick said many of the Lifetime Achievement Award winners are mentors for other community leaders. “These are leaders who have demonstrated to others how to conduct themselves as a member of the community or a family.

“They share certain characteristics that stand out clearly, be it their vision, their integrity, their commitment, who are the most patriotic. Their non-political activities help change the lives of others. They care deeply about the place they live, many for most of their lives,” Hartwick said.

Previous winners have included Leland Simonson, for his contributions to the area’s timber industry, Baird Romiano of the family-owned Ramiano Cheese Co., and Henry Stedson who never missed a Del Norte County Fair in 70 years, Hartwick said.

He added that as the final award of the night, Lifetime Achievement can be the most-emotional honor bestowed. “Some of those nights, it gets extremely emotional because of the type of people it’s awarded to,” Hartwick said.

“It’s kept secret, so most of the time, the person didn’t know they were getting an award. But they’re the most important type of people who don’t expect to get an award for all they do in the first place.

“It’s a culmination event that celebrates everything good they’ve done in their career, wrapped up into one evening.”

Vosburg said the event’s 256 chairs sell out every year for Chamber members, who are free to invite anyone from the community to join them. Tickets are $50 a plate, this year featuring a choice of prime rib, pork loin or vegetarian eggplant.

The entertainment will be by DJ Scott Graves of Wild Rivers Sound, who provided the music at the SeaCruise car show. To make reservations, call 707-464-3174.

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