Citizen of Year & Merit Award to be presented this Saturday

Members of the Imlay City Rotary Club gather for presentation of ‘Organization of the Year’ award at last year’s Imlay City Chamber of Commerce Dinner Dance.

IMLAY CITY — It’s last call for those wishing to attend Saturday’s (Jan. 19) Imlay City Area Chamber of Commerce Dinner-Dance at the Countryside Banquet Center.

The event begins at 5:30 p.m. with hors d’oeuvres, with the traditional presentations of this year’s Citizen of the Year, Merit Award and Organization of the Year to follow. Tickets to the Dinner-Dance are $50 apiece and are currently available for purchase in advance at the Imlay City Hall or at the door on Saturday evening.

For the first time, the Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors have announced their award recipients prior to the event.

The Chamber’s honorees for 2018 include Julie Salsido, Citizen of the Year; Doug Halabicky, Merit Award winner; and Vlasic Foods, the Organization of the Year.

“Our 2019 gala is sure to be one of the premier events of the year in Imlay City,” said Chamber Executive Director, Teresa Gormley. “The event is rooted in a tradition of grandeur and celebration for more than 35 years.”

Citizen of Year

“Julie Salsido is being recognized as Citizen of the Year for her dedication to community involvement and continued efforts to make Imlay City a great place to live,” Gormley said. “Julie has been a festival and auction volunteer for 21 years; has spent the last 16 years helping with the Eastern Michigan Fair; and has volunteered at the Family Literacy Center for the past 10 years.

“She can also be seen every year at the Winter Playground playing her role as Mrs. Claus and bringing joy to countless children by reading them stories throughout the event.”

Merit winner

Gormley noted that Doug Halabicky is a worthy selection as this year’s Merit Award recipient.

“Doug will be recognized for the many things he does behind the scenes in and around Imlay City,” she said. “For the short time he has been a business owner in Imlay City, Doug has made a difference by volunteering his time and financial resources in a very unassuming way.”

Top organization

Gormley acknowledged Vlasic Foods for its important role as an employer and contributor to the community.

“Vlasic is a major influence within the community,” she said, pointing out that they sponsored last year’s inaugural Pickle Fest at the Eastern Michigan Fairgrounds.

“All of these recipients are well-deserving,” said Gormley. “We had many nominations in each of these categories.

“It is imperative that we as a Chamber and community recognize the hard work, dedication and volunteerism right here in our own community,” she continued. “There is no better time to do that than at our Annual Gala.”

In addition to the dinner and awards program, live entertainment will be provided by “Remix,” a variety band performing hits from the past and the present.

New Board officers

On Monday, the Imlay City Area Chamber of Commerce Board elected new officers.

They include Barb Yockey, president; Rob Mette, vice president; secretary, Brooke Milnes; and treasurer, Doug Halabicky.

Board members include Rebecca Homer, Ian Kempf, John Powell, Brian Hill, Christopher Newton and Randy Jorgensen.

Countryside Banquet Center is located at 596 S. Cedar St. (Van Dyke) in Imlay City.

For more information, call the Chamber office at 810-724-1361, or contact Shannon Hamel directly at 810-542-3256.

Tom Wearing started at the Tri-City Times in 1989, covering the Village of Capac as a beat reporter. He later served stints as assistant editor and editor. Today, he covers Imlay City and Almont as a staff writer. He enjoys music and plays drums and sings with various musical groups in the Detroit Metropolitan area.