The Lake Stevens business community gathered at the Greater Lake Stevens Chamber of Commerce's year-end gala on Friday, December 13, to honor a few local citizens for their service to Lake Stevens and those who live here.
The 2013 Chamber board received nominations from several members throughout the community and chose the Business Person of the Year, Business of the Year and two new members who were inducted into the Lake Stevens Hall of Fame.
The winner of the Business Person of the Year was Lorraine MacDuff, who most of us know as Rainy, owner of Rainy Days Caffe' in downtown Lake Stevens.
MacDuff has been a title sponsor for the Boys and Girls Club's annual golf tournament and also sponsors their sports teams. She also is continuously creating fundraisers, which she holds at her shop, to help families and kids in the community. She is also known for her concern for her employees, which are mainly young adults.
"When I sat down with Rainy I found her to be very open and caring. She teaches her employees what it is like to run a business, how to shop, how to set prices, etc.," Lake Stevens Chamber President Tonya Christoffersen said. "She expressed how important it is to her to get involved when she sees a need and encourages everyone to do the same."
SVR Construction and Snohomish Valley Roofing owners Dave Warrick and Janice Huxford were named this year's Business of the Year for their consistent commitment to Lake Stevens and the community.
Both Warrick and Huxford have donated hundreds of hours to Aquafest. Huxford is a member of the city's Planning Commission and they have donated their time and supplies to reroof the city's gazebo in North Cove Park.
SVR has generously donated to the Purple & Gold Club and Lake Stevens Little League over the years.
They also provide yellow dumpsters throughout the city where anyone can dump their recyclable garbage at no cost.
"Dave has come back to the community in which he grew up so he can give back and reinvest in those that invested in him as a young man," Christoffersen said.
This year two people were inducted to the Lake Stevens Hall of Fame, 60 year resident Nancy Mitchell and lifetime resident Vern Foster who was honored posthumously.
Mitchell's contributions to Lake Stevens are too many to print but over the last six decades she has been active in the school board, sewer district, bank board member, Boy Scouts, county planning and short plat commissions, Providence Hospital board and Lake Stevens Historical Society, to name a few.
"Nancy moved to Lake Stevens when she married her husband Jim Mitchell and she has been active ever since," Christoffersen said. "That first year, 1948, she became a Camp Fire Leader of 35 girls - mind you she did not have a daughter at the time."
Vern Foster, who passed away in July of this year, was known throughout the community for his quick wit and always being ready to lend a helping hand.
Foster was a Fire Commissioner at the time of his passing and a member of both the Lake Stevens Rotary Club and Lions Club. He donated hundreds of hours over the years to Aquafest and was a past board member for the Chamber of Commerce.
Foster, through his business Foster Press, was a NASCAR Mini-Stock sponsor at the Evergreen Speedway in Monroe.
Longtime friend and past business owner in Lake Stevens, Don Speirs said, "Vern was never wealthy by the yardsticks that many in our society use - he had little use for those things. He often put his community and their needs ahead of his own personal comfort, making sacrifices quietly and privately for one simple reason that always guided his choices: They were the right thing to do."
Foster's award was accepted by his wife, Donna and his parents, Jim and Betty Foster.
That evening the Chamber also chose to honor a local hero, Lloyd Fogg who saved a 13-year-old boy from sure drowning in Lake Stevens last February.
The boy was clinging to the side of a boat without a life vest when Fogg saw him and rowed his small boat over to help the boy.
Fogg tried to pull the boy into his boat but he was too cold and tired to help him, Fogg was also exhausted from rowing.
Fogg put a life jacket around the boy and helped him hold onto the boat until 911 could get there.
"Fogg's courage prevented what could have been a deadly incident," Christoffersen said.
The evening was full of great conversation, good food and a chance to thank those in our community who rarely get thanked.
For more information regarding the Greater Lake Stevens Chamber of Commerce visit www.lschamber.org.