Meet the Community Award nominees part 1: Development Project of the Year and Program of the Year

by Mallory Gruben
Communications Manager

As the holiday season nears its end, the Chamber wants to give the community a reason to continue celebrating — and we don’t just mean New Year’s Eve.

The nominees for the 2022 Community Awards started getting their announcements in the mail last week, so it’s finally safe to announce them here in the Chatter. This year we received more than 30 nominations across five categories, and we’ll be splitting our announcement into multiple parts, so we can give each nominee their time to shine.

Each nomination is made with a narrative and often letters of support to articulate why the nominee stands out. The Awards Committee uses these to determine the final recipient for the award, which will be announced at the Community Awards Banquet, this year on January 29.  As we introduce the nominees, we will share some of the background that was submitted for each one.

We will start this week with the nominees for Development Project of the Year and Program of the Year. But before we get started, we want to give a quick sidenote about the Awards Committee. This group is made up of community members and past Community Award recipients. Chamber staff does not determine who will receive the award in each category. Instead, we leave the Community Awards up to, well, the community, because we trust that you know best.

Now, without further ado…

For Development Project of the year, the nominees are:

Grocery Outlet: Tillamook’s newest grocery store, Grocery Outlet adds another low-cost but quality choice for our community in Tillamook County. The store and its local owners showed a commitment to the community by investing in the property and building a new store in the area, so it can continue to service the grocery needs of this area.

JAndy Oyster Co.: Owners Todd and Tamra created an elevated but still comfortable space in town for people to gather and socialize, all while creating new jobs in the process. They expanded their business into the former Hidden Acres property to bring a new local hangout to Tillamook County. Despite the risk given the current environment, they made a gathering place for people to drink good wine, enjoy phenomenal food and socialize with one another again.

Blue Heron French Cheese Company: The new Blue Heron Candy Shop is a hit for littles, and the firepits outside with live music make for a romantic date! It’s always been enjoyable to visit the Blue Heron, and this has only added to the fun. It’s a great space to bring kids on the weekend or just enjoy and evening with friends. This expansion has so much heart and was so well thought out.

And for Program of the Year, the nominees are:

Kiwanda Corridor Project: A destination management project and program launched by Tillamook County and the Pacific City/Woods Parking Advisory Committee, the Kiwanda Corridor Project will add much-needed parking, multi-modal pathways, green spaces, restrooms and waste management/recycling services in Pacific City once completed. The work will help build visitor capacity and services, as well as improve community livability for residents. The project is being developed with community input and collaboration among county commissioners, county parks, state parks, local nonprofits, public works, tourism organizations and private sector businesses — the very definition of destination management. 

Tillamook County Public Health: Our public health nurses have worked tirelessly over the last year putting together daily and weekly updates on the COVID cases in Tillamook County. They have led case investigations; done contact tracing; hosted free vaccine clinics and testing sites; and assisted businesses, school districts, employers and community members in answering thousands of questions about testing, quarantine guidelines, immunizations and more. These nurses and staff gave many hours of their personal time to ensure that our community stayed safe and educated.

Prime +: The Prime+ program is a peer support program aimed at providing low-barrier access to lifesaving resources for people in active substance use and seeking recovery. They have been out in the community, visiting encampments where folks are experiencing houselessness, and they’ve provided lifesaving NarCan, provided information about safer use strategies and overdose prevention and conducted rapid community-based screening and supporting linkage to care for people with opioid risk use. Their work directly reduces the risk of death and serious illness as a result of substance use and provides low-barrier access to recourse for recovery from substance use.

Tillamook County Transportation District’s Pacific City Free Shuttle: The Pacific City Free Shuttle program contributes to the quality of life in Tillamook County by helping to reduce traffic and parking congestion in Pacific City and the surrounding areas. The shuttle provides free, safe rides to Pelican Pub, Twist Wine Company and other local designations. Pacific City is a popular destination for out-of-towners and locals alike, especially during the summer months. By keeping the streets and parking lots more navigable, the Pacific City Free Shuttle helps keeps summertime spent in Pacific City enjoyable for all.

Thank to everyone who made a nomination, and congratulations to our nominees! We’ll be back again soon with the rest of our nominees in the Business of the Year, Small Business of the Year and Citizen of the year categories, so keep your eye on the Chamber Chatter in the coming weeks!

This article was updated on January 26 to clarify the mission and operations of the Prime + program.