Tongue Point Job Corps Center (TPJCC) administrators announced the 2004 Gimre Award winners at a luncheon Wednesday. They include the Astoria Aquatic Center, KMUN, The Healing Circle, Terry Wilson and individual members of the Astoria School Board.

The award recognizes organizations and individuals who partner with TPJCC and make significant contributions to the center.

"While each organization and individual recognized interact with Tongue Point in unique way, each have demonstrated a commitment to the students of Tongue Point and the Job Corps program," said Sarah Cullison, business and community liaison.

The Gimre Awards were established in 1998 and named after Kermit Gimre, a longtime advocate of the center. When Tongue Point was first established, most of its students came from the southern United States. Astoria was as much a culture shock to them as they were to the community. Gimre was a leader in helping ease the acceptance on both sides. He was an active member of the Community Relations Council for several decades, and was always eager to learn more about the center so that he could share that information with other community members.

"As Job Corps celebrates its 40th anniversary nationwide, it is fitting that we honor recipients with the award named after a community leader who has been behind the program since its inception," Cullison said.

Award winners were nominated by staff and students in October.

The Astoria Aquatic Center was chosen because of the recreation opportunities it offers students.

KMUN was recognized for its efforts in getting information about TPJCC and its students out to the community, as well as doing the legwork to put together a student-run radio program.

The Healing Circle, which sponsors the Victory Over Child Abuse (VOCA) camp, was selected for the counseling students and staff receive.

The Astoria School Board members were honored for their continued partnership with TPJCC on alternative education, including Columbia Academy, as well as their ability to serve students in a challenging environment.

Terry Wilson, the adviser of the student-run radio program on the KMUN side, was also honored.

"He understands how to mentor (students), how to connect with them and give them the structure they need to do amazing things," Cullison said.

Each of the award winners received a plaque.

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