By Paul Daquilante • Staff Writer • 

Sheridan honors community leaders

Surprise! Because the recipient of the award was Adamson herself, a realtor and outgoing president of the Sheridan Chamber of Commerce. She admittedly was both honored and humbled by the honor. It certainly was something she did not expect to receive.

The fourth annual event featured dancing with a 1950s dress theme, dinner, a raffle and the presentation of awards to individuals who have stood out in the West Valley community.

More than 125 people attended, and Adamson said she was pleased not only with the turnout but with the venue that was selected at which to hold the event.

Sheridan businessman Dick Paay has transformed the old Willamina High School property into the West Valley Community Campus, and event organizers chose the site over the Federal Correctional Institution training facility where the event had been held the previous three years.

“It’s perfect, absolutely perfect for this size of group,” Adamson said of the WVCC. “FCI has donated the space in the past, and they were wonderful, but there were limitations.

“Alcohol could not be served,” Adamson said. “We had a mardi gras theme last year, and we couldn’t wear masks. And FCI is not allowing civic functions to be held at that facility any longer, so we had no choice but to find another location.”

In addition to Citizen of the Year, others honored were:

n Business of the Year: J Wrigley Vineyards. The Wrigley family purchased 200 acres of prime vineyard land in 2006 and planted their first Pinot Noir, Riesling and Pinot Gris vines in October 2008.

n New Business of the Year: Slow Train Coffee & Tea. The business was established in 2008 by a group of friends committed to Sheridan.

n Volunteer of the Year: Briana Mize. “She appeared one day at the chamber, about 1 1/2 years ago, and jumped right in,” Adamson said. “She started helping wherever we needed her.”

n Junior Citizen of the Year: Boy Scout Troop 215. Hunter Michaelson accepted the award. “They are involved in everything,” Michaelson said. “It’s a great group of kids.”

Adamson turned the chamber presidency over to Belinda Ogle. Mize will be the new vice-president. Adamson was president when the community awards banquet was launched, and it’s been a wonderful way to recognize citizens and help bring the community together.

“I had been president for about a year,” Adamson said. “We were trying to come up with ideas in an effort to get the community active again. Things had gotten quiet and stale.”

She firmly believes the awards banquet is one way to infuse the community with new energy, and despite leaving the president’s seat, Adamson will remain a chamber fixture.

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