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Silverdale Chamber hosts annual gala and auction
A record number of people — 160 — attended the Silverdale Chamber of Commerce Gala last weekend at the Kitsap Conference Center.
During the event, the chamber announced its member, citizen and business of the year, as well as the the Business Pioneer of the Year.
Those who attended heard from U.S. Rep. Derek Kilmer who told the crowd that he was glad to a part of the gala that recognizes outstanding people in the Silverdale business community.
“Congratulations to the chamber on this terrific event,” Kilmer said. “It’s so good to be here and to be a part of this recognition.”
Kilmer spoke about the last several weeks he spent in Washington D.C. and told chamber members andy supporters that he was glad to see the government back in operation.
“There’s three things that need to happen in Washington D.C.,” he said. “One, Congress should pass a budget.
“If they don’t, it should be no budget no pay. I’ve never had a job in my life where I got paid if the job didn’t get done.”
Kilmer was one of the first members of Congress to give up his pay during the time the government was shut down.
“Two,” Kilmer said, “we need to get the economy cooking again. Small businesses are the backbone of the economy. I hope to see Congress start to focus on jobs.
“And three, we need to get past all this partisan bickering. We can’t have success as a nation if one or the other party looks like a failure. Working together is the only way to create the kind of future we want.”
Kilmer said Congress needs to stop moving backward and start moving forward.
“I want all of you to be a partner in that,” he said.
Also addressing the crowd was Dave Frederick, founder of the Coffee Oasis.
Coffee Oasis, a faith-based nonprofit that supports programs for homeless, street-oriented youth, was the recipient of a portion of the proceeds from the gala.
Frederick said there are 3,113 homeless youth in Kitsap County.
He told the story of “Mike” who came to the organization after being arrested on drug charges. Frederick said the young man was sentenced in drug and family court to a program that included job training at Coffee Oasis.
He was successful and went on to work at a fast food restaurant and then became a manager at a sub shop.
“He’s now part of us, managing a business, taking youth into job training programs,” Frederick said. “Without your support, these successes wouldn’t happen. Thank you for your support.”
During the awards, the Chamber honored April Ihde, of Kitsap Bank as the Member of the Year. She received the Paul G. Linder Service Award.
She supports many organizations in Kitsap County including Central Kitsap Food Bank, Kitsap Humane Society, and has given more than 150 volunteer hours for Kitsap Bank.
The Business of the Year award was given to Lisa Stirrett Glass Studio.
Her studio opened in the past year, but she has been a well-known glass artist since 1987.
Through her in-kind and financial resources, she has made a significant impact in the community, the chamber honor stated.
Citizen of the Year honors went to Gary Bowley, a professional photographer who owns Special Occasion Hair Styles and Make Up with his wife, Judy.
He previously owned a commercial printing business in Silverdale which he opened in 1972.
He has been active in the Silverdale Chamber and the Silverdale Rotary. He’s been a part of Whaling Days and was a Silverdale Water District commissioner.
The Business Pioneer of the Year award was given to Peninsula Services.
This award recognizes a business that has been in operation for more than 15 years and that has made significant contributions to the community.
Peninsula Services began in 1971 as a residential, vocational and training program for adults with special needs.
It’s purpose is to provide quality comprehensive vocational, social and life enriching experiences to adults with a wide range of disabilities and challenges.
CEO Jill Robinson accepted the honor and thanked the Chamber for the recognition.
In all, the event raised more than $18,000.
Besides a silent and live auction, the Chamber Gala hosted a dessert auction that included a pink champagne cake, homemade cannoli, cheesecakes, pies, an M&M Cake and jello shots inside chocolate covered strawberries.
The dessert auction raised more than $2,000.