We often underestimate the power of a single individual in shaping our community. Those who strive for better, who lend a helping hand, who go the extra mile without seeking anything in return – these are the hidden heroes who make our community a better place. That’s why the Community Award for Citizen of the Year isn’t just an accolade; it’s a recognition of the relentless efforts and selfless spirit of our community citizens. Being nominated is an honor in itself, signifying appreciation for one’s contributions, and winning this award is a testament to the significant impact one can make. Let’s continue to cherish and encourage these community trailblazers – their dedication and commitment are truly worth celebrating!
So, without any more delay, let’s announce the fine Tillamook County nominees for Citizen of the Year!
Patrick Zweifel: Patrick Zweifel has always been committed to helping the community grow and flourish through his many entrepreneurial businesses including The Hydrangea Ranch, OCF Decorative Concrete and his non profit organization Ultimook. Most recently Patrick spearheaded the rescue of Alderbrook Golf Course from closing forever, and reinvigorated this community asset through incredible cosmetic improvements, creating another outstanding destination in Tillamook County.
Lonnie Eggert: For over two decades Lonnie Eggert has served the Tillamook School District in a variety of roles including a teacher, the Athletic Director, the Dean of Students and the head basketball coach and wrestling coach. During that time he has mentored hundreds of students providing them with guidance, supporting their needs, and teaching them the values of hard work and accountability. Lonnie has made it his life’s work to ensure that all students have the opportunities and tools they need to be successful in sports and in life.
Justin McMahan: Paston Justin McMahan of Living Water Fellowship has been instrumental in fostering programs that reach outside the church and benefit the entire community. As a pastor who believes we lead by example, Justin is constantly finding ways to mobilize the Living Water congregation to serve the community. In his time here he has developed a reputation for providing support and mentorship for anyone aspiring to bring about positive change for Tillamook County.
Suzanne Weber: Suzanne embodies commitment to community, spending most of her life in service making Tillamook a better place to live and work. Starting in her early years as a teacher when she was busy shaping young lives. Then moving into public service, serving __ years on Tillamook’s City Council, eventually serving as mayor for __ years. Most recently representing Tillamook in the state legislature for the past __ years, ensuring that our rural needs and voices are elevated to Salem.
Rachel Koljesky: Rachel Koljesky is committed to removing barriers so that everyone in Tillamook County can access health and life saving information. As the Outreach and Engagement Coordinator, Mobile Clinic and Event Coordinator, and Syringe Service Program Coordinator for Tillamook County, Rachel works collaboratively and tirelessly across service organizations, businesses, churches, community groups and individuals to ensure everyone has the information they need to live happier and healthier lives.
John Holland: In his role working for the mobile crisis team for Tillamook County, John Hollard spends his days helping those in crisis with unwavering compassion and empathy, and is directly responsible for saving several lives in the community. John’s irreplaceable services are an asset to all three school districts, the Tillamook County jail, and everyone experiencing a crisis who needs a lifeline.
We are immensely grateful to all who nominated candidates in our various categories. Your contributions have played a vital role in acknowledging the dedicated individuals who tirelessly improve our community. Each nomination illustrates the remarkable work being done in Tillamook County, and for that, we are truly thankful.
Each year the Tillamook Chamber’s Community Awards is rooted in community nominations, a process that effectively determines the nominees for all five categories. The nomination process, which ran until December 1st of this current year, uses a questionnaire process for each submission. The task of deciding the winners for each category is entrusted to a special committee made up of esteemed community members and past award recipients, excluding any Chamber staff or board members. The nominees from all categories will be honored and the much-anticipated reveal of winners will happen at our prestigious Annual Awards Banquet which is set to take place at the Tillamook County Fairgrounds on Saturday, January 13th, 2024 at 5:30pm.
For past nominations please see our blog or Facebook for other category nominations.