by: Darryl Swan, FIRST CITIZEN — Maj. Gary Repp, a plans officer with the 41st Infantry Brigade Combat Team, accepts the Tigard First Citizen award for the team.

LAKE OSWEGO - The Tigard Chamber of Commerce broke with more than 30 years of tradition Friday when it conferred its Tigard First Citizen award to an Oregon National Guard infantry team.

'They were selected this year to recognize them for all they have done,' said presenter Pat Biggs, who was last year's award recipient. 'They are shining examples here, and they are shining examples for their service in Oregon.'

It was the first time the Tigard First Citizen award has been bestowed to a group of people rather than a single person, Biggs said.

The award was presented at the 2008 Tigard Chamber of Commerce 'Evening of Shining Stars: Making Magic Happen' gala held at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, a chamber member, located in Lake Oswego.

Maj. Gary Repp, a plans officer with the 41st Infantry Brigade Combat Team based in Portland, accepted the award for the team.

The First Citizen Award honors a person or group of people who show strong leadership and who selflessly give back to the community.

'I'm very rarely rendered speechless,' Repp said upon accepting the award to a standing ovation. 'But right now I'm having a hard time speaking.'

'We need to represent Oregon well, and I hope we're doing that,' he said.

Earlier in the evening, Dan Murphy, who served as the event's master of ceremonies, ran the more than 100 people attending the event through a drill that demonstrated how nearly everyone in the room is connected, through blood relations or friendship, to someone serving overseas in the Iraq or Afghanistan wars.

The Tigard First Citizen Award was first given to Bill Frahler in 1975.

The Shining Stars event and silent auction is the main fund-raiser for the Tigard Chamber of Commerce. Around 90 local, regional and national businesses contributed auction items.

'It was a huge success,' said Lisa Watts, president-elect for the chamber.

Other people honored at the event include:

  • Scholarship Award -Jessica A. Love and Kyle W. Figura received $1,000 each in chamber scholarship funds
  • Rookie of the Year - Montgomery Promotions (Marianne and Bill Montgomery)
  • Ambassador of the Year - Gloria Weatherbee
  • Small Business of the Year - Dinner Done Right (Steve Harris)
  • Large Business of the Year - BMW Motorcycles of Western Oregon (Scott Russell)
  • Volunteer of the Year - Jane Davies with ReMax Equity Group
  • Volunteerism from the Heart - Kenneth VanDomelen, owner of Coast Pavement Services

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