Celebrating Central Kitsap’s greatest

The Accolades Awards Gala is the Silverdale Chamber of Commerce’s annual event honoring the best and brightest of Silverdale and Central Kitsap. Winners are nominated by members of the community. The Accolades Awards Gala is Oct. 27 at the Silverdale Beach Hotel.

The Oxford Suites Inn, sponsor of the Citizen of the Year award, will present an engraved Tiffany platter to Daman Wandke. Wandke is a disability advocate and youth advisor to the National Council on Disability and Society of Disability Studies. He is a 2007 graduate of Klahowya Secondary School and the creator of the Disability Awareness Moving Across the Nation (DAMAN project). Wandke also ran for student government in high school and friends cited his disability as a reason he did not win. He created a “Disability Awareness Day” for students and faculty. The program has been adopted in other schools throughout the area and schools across the country.

During his senior year, Wandke was elected student body vice president and graduated serving as acting president. He will be attending Western Washington University in the fall, studying computer science. Wandke also owns his own business in Seabeck where he specializes in Web design.

The Business of the Year award, sponsored by the Central Kitsap Reporter, will be presented to Legend Harley Davidson. Dale Bone brought Legend Harley Davidson to Silverdale in February 2006. The dealership is actively involved in numerous charities and hosts many event throughout the year. Legend Harley Davidson has supported the Central Kitsap Food Bank, Northwest Burn Foundation, Kitsap Humane Society, ALIVE Shelter, Retsil Veteran’s Home, Olympic Kidney Support Center and the Disabled American Veterans.

The Business Pioneer award, sponsored by the Kitsap Community Credit Union, will be awarded to Benita’s Bridal Formal Tuxedo. Benita and her family have lived in the area since 1958 and was involved with area schools. Benita joined the Chamber in 1975 and became very active in their efforts with the local military. She also led the effort to have trees planted along Silverdale Way.

The Paul G. Linder award for Community Service, sponsored by Puget Sound Energy, is presented to the Chamber Member of the Year. This year’s recipient is Gene Straw, of John L. Scott Real Estate in Bremerton.

Straw joined the Chamber in March 2002 and attends numerous Chamber luncheons and events. He is a member of both the Ambassador and Military Affairs committees and has served as the Chair of the Military Affairs Committee. Straw served as president of the Board of Directors in 2006. He was the water-side coordinator for the quicksilver hydroplane races.

Tickets for the Accolades Awards Gala will be available Sept. 1. The cost is $55 per person. VIP tables are available at various levels and cocktails begin at 5:30 p.m. The event also will feature auctions and the theme for the evening is “Masquerade.”

For more information or to make reservations, call the Silverdale Chamber of Commerce at (360) 692-6800. Reservations also can be made online at

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