Banquet to be held at Festhalle Feb. 24

The Mount Angel Chamber of Commerce has announced the winners of the 2013 First Citizen Awards. The First Citizen Awards banquet will be held Feb. 24 at 6 p.m. at the Mount Angel Festhalle. Tickets are $30 and available to purchase at U.S. Bank, Columbia Bank and Wells Fargo Bank in Mount Angel.

First Citizen — Dick Hoffer

Dick Hoffer is the 2013 Mount Angel First Citizen. A long-time resident and community volunteer, Hoffer is being recognized for his many years of community volunteer work. He served as a firefighter for 15 years. He served multiple terms on the city planning commission. He also served on the city council. It was in the service to the school district that Dick Hoffer really distinguished himself. For decades he was working the sidelines at all high school football games as a member of the chain crew. In the early 1990s, Hoffer joined the Mount Angel School Board. In total, he served 19 years a school board member. During many of those years, he held leadership roles as either the chair or vice-chair of the board. He retired from this role in 2013. For five years, Hoffer served on the board of directors of the Benedictine Foundation of Oregon. There he became the “champion” car raffle salesman and consultant to the Benedictine Sisters on maintaining their many buildings. Citizens that nominated Dick Hoffer stated that “we appreciate Dick’s many years of service to the Mount Angel community.”

Junior First Citizen — Emily Schmidt

Emily Schmidt is the daughter of Ron and Cindy Schmidt. Her grandfather Joe Schmidt was honored in 2002 with the chamber’s “Behind the Scenes” award. Emily Schmidt’s community involvement includes working on a number of Oktoberfest committees, helping with the Hazelnut Festival, St. Mary’s Catholic Church and Habitat for Humanity. “My most rewarding and significant community service has been volunteering at the Habitat for Humanity ReStore in Mount Angel,” she wrote. “I think it is great that you can donate practically any usable household item instead of just throwing it away. No one should be held back in life because they can’t afford something, by: VINCE TERESI - Mount Angel's Junior First Citizens are Emily Schmidt and Blake it’s inspiring to know that we can still make a great impact in many people’s lives. I am so inspired by both their work and dedication that has pushed me to look into continuing to volunteer for Habitat for Humanity in college. Regular everyday people are making a difference in so many lives through Habitat, and I’m glad and excited to be part of that.”

Junior First Citizen — Blake Traeger

Blake Traeger is the son of Greg and Sandy Traeger. His mother Sandy (Fessler) Traeger was Mount Angel’s very first Junior First Citizen in 1985. His father Greg Traeger received the Service to Youth Award in 2008. His grandparents Bob and Jean Fessler were First Citizens in 2004. Blake Traeger’s community involvement includes volunteering with the Virtue First Foundation, Huts to Home, Little League, football and baseball camps, Oktoberfest and St. Mary’s Church. “My most rewarding community service activity has been helping with the Mount Angel Area Little League,” he wrote. “I enjoy sports very much so it gives me great pleasure to help the youth of our community play ball. The Virtue First Foundation is the one local community service organization that has really inspired me the most. Every day during football season, I listen to the Virtue talks from my coach Randy Traeger. From all the virtues I have learned, it has helped me to be a better person and will hopefully help me to become a great husband and father someday. Ten years from now, I hope to see myself working as an agronomist and to be coaching football here in Mount Angel.

Volunteer of the Year — Thelma Bourbonnais

“Everywhere I go in Mount Angel, there is Thelma volunteering, whether it be at the Providence Benedictine Nursing Center (PBNC), or the Senior Center or Catholic Daughters, Thelma never draws any attention to her work, she just helps year in and year out,” is how one nomination described Thelma Bourbonnais. Bourbonnais volunteers at PBNC with bingo every week for the residents. She is an active volunteer with Catholic Daughters of America and quilts every week at St. Mary’s Church. She volunteers at the Senior Center and provides transportation to seniors for medical appointments or errands. Thelma is known for her generous volunteer hours and a smile that makes everyone’s day just a little better.

Business of the Year — Bochsler Hardware

Established in 1908, this family-owned business is a model of a successful small town business. Their success is based on hard work, basic business practices and outstanding customer service. They stock items that they have learned over decades are needed in a small, rural community. And if they don’t have something, they will happily order it for you. Bochsler Hardware delivers and installs appliances and always has a friendly hello and is ready help you find what you need. When there is a community fundraiser, Bochsler’s always participates. Outstanding customer service for more than 100 years is greatly appreciated by their customers far and wide.

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