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Chamber awards local businesses

DARIN OLDE, Sierra Sun

The 47th annual Truckee Chamber of Commerce awards ceremony and dinner took place at Northstar-at-Tahoe Wednesday, Sept. 27, featuring special entertainment by Steve Coniglio and the Truckee-Tahoe Mountainaire Chorus.

“Last year our entertainment was a live auction,” past Chamber Chairman John Hetz said. “This year we had a silent auction, and chose to do something to commemorate the history and character of the town.”

Coniglio, dressed as a gun-slinging vaquero, performed a soliloquy written by the Chamber’s Karin Pierce, and received a standing ovation.

The awards ceremony recognized Chamber businesses that have made outstanding contributions to the community.

Bill Palmer of The Sign Shop won the Hospitality Award; Tom Young of Truckee Tahoe Cabinets and Tints earned New Member of the Year; John Witney from EventMasters won Small Business/Person of the Year; Pattie and Hartley Lesser were awarded Volunteer of the Year; and law firm Porter/Simon was awarded Chamber Member of the Year.

“We’ve never won [Volunteer of Year] before and that’s why we are so thrilled and why I was so heartbroken to find out we missed the ceremony,” Pattie Lesser said.

Pattie and Hartley Lesser have been Truckee residents for two-and-a-half years and have been organizing the Fourth of July parade for the last three years.

“We had been new residents for two months, joined the Chamber and were asked to help plan the Fourth of July parade. We both work out of the home and decided it would be a good opportunity to meet people. So, we were thrown right into the community, and have been organizing the event since.”

Although Hartley said this will be the last year he organizes the event, Pattie said he may change his mind.

“It’s sort of like giving birth, you say you’re never going to do it again while you’re planning, but when it happens you talk about how you’re going to make it better next year,” she said.

Special awards were given to Charlie White of Donner Lake Realty; Robert and Jeannie McCarthy of McCarthy Sign Company; the Law Offices of Dale Wood, and Richard Valentine and Joel Gressel from Tahoe Instant Press, TIP Inc., for being the oldest Truckee Chamber members. Each have been members of the Chamber for 20 years.

Chris McGraw won the raffle, a trip to Las Vegas for two.

“What a thrill,” New Member of the Year Tom Young of Truckee Tahoe Cabinets and Tints said. “I should have been there but my kid had back to school night too.” Young has been in business for several years but only recently joined the chamber.

The Truckee Chamber of Commerce has grown 20 percent in the last year, from 350 members to 420. The chamber answered more than 15,000 phone calls, served more than 32,000 walk-in visitors, answered more than 10,000 written requests and received 120,000 visitors on their website http://www.truckee.com.

For more information about the Truckee Chamber of Commerce call 587-2757.


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