Julie Flues of the Columbia River Maritime Museum and Gary Dick of Pacific Power took home the Astoria-Warrenton Area Chamber of Commerce’s two citizen of the year honors at the group’s 145th-annual banquet Saturday.
Flues, membership and communications manager for the maritime museum, was presented the George Award by Astoria Mayor Arline LaMear. Named after a saying, “Let George do it,” the award has gone to more than 130 Astoria-area volunteers since 1960. LaMear lauded Flues’ good nature and work in many different aspects of the community.
“She is seen as a strong leader, and someone who is fair and reliable in her dealings with others,” LaMear said.
Flues volunteers with the Assistance League of the Columbia Pacific, the Clatsop Community College Foundation, the Astoria Regatta Association, Astoria Downtown Historic District Association, the Rotary Club of Astoria, United Way of Clatsop County, Oregon Tour and Travel Alliance and the chamber. Before the maritime museum, Flues was a local manager with the American Red Cross.
Warrenton Mayor Henry Balensifer presented Dick, a serviceman with the utility company, the Richard Ford Distinguished Service Award, named after a former city inspector, fire chief and avid volunteer. The award was established in 2000 and has gone to more than 20 individuals.
A native of Wheeler, Dick has been with Pacific Power more than 40 years. He volunteers his time and specialized aerial line-servicing equipment to hang decorations during holidays, and helps prepare the nets, lights and poles at the Warrenton Soccer Complex. Dick supports Warrenton High School Scholarships Inc. and the Assistance League, and volunteers with local fire departments.
“He’s a guy who will help a neighbor in need, organizing co-workers to help her move furniture on a weekend, and picking up boxes to take to the recycling center for someone unable to make the trip for themselves,” Balensifer said.
State Sen. Betsy Johnson presented the chamber’s first lifetime legacy award in honor of Hal Snow, the former city attorney for Astoria and Warrenton who died last year. The award was given to his son, Jeremy.
“This man was a pillar of Clatsop County,” Johnson said. “Born and raised in Astoria, he epitomizes what both George and Ford awards represent. He never sought the spotlight, but was always first in line to respond to community needs.”
A chamber president’s award was given to Van Dusen Beverages, run by former Astoria Mayor Willis Van Dusen.