GRANDVIEW The recipients of last night’s Grandview Chamber of Commerce Community Awards have much to smile about.
The grand award, Person of the Year, was presented to Superintendent Kevin Chase.
With a look of shock, he took to the stage, accepting the award and giving credit to those with whom he has worked for past 12 years.
“I have worked closely with many people and organizations who’ve made my job easy,” he said.
Chase said Grandview us a “… fantastic place. We have one of the best education systems in the state.”
School Board member Paul Jepson presented the award.
Jepson said he considers Chase a friend, a visionary, an outstanding colleague, engineer and more.
“I would prefer we were roasting this individual rather than honoring him,” Jepson said after teasing the audience with a letter about tomatoes.
“It’s about what you are willing to do to help. Tonight’s a great example of what we do,” Chase said of the community.
As Person of the Year, Chase will lead the annual Yakima Valley Fair and Rodeo Parade in August.
The Orrin Dybdahl Award, presented to an individual who mentors and supports youth programs, was presented to Grandview High School teacher Brad Charvet.
Although he was unable to attend, the DECA adviser accepted the award via video chat.
Screaming and cheering could be heard over his wife’s cellphone as he learned the news — much of the screaming came from the students attending the DECA National Leadership Conference in Nashville, Tenn., with him.
School Board member Dale Bergeson presented.
Grandview Lumber Co. owner Cliff Lewis accepted the Business of the Year Award for his firm.
“Cliff’s American dream is fully complete,” City Administrator Cus Arteaga said.
Lewis was considering whether he should retire and asked Arteaga, while at a gas station one day:
“Should I retire or build a new building?”
The city administrator responded “as any proponent of economic development would,” he said. “I told him he should build a new building.”
That new building just opened and the city partnered with Lewis, building new infrastructure for future businesses, he said.
“I’m forever in debt,” Lewis said, accepting the award. “There’s a lot of great people here and a lot of them could help me with my math.”
Jim and Nancy Davidson were recognized with the Community Development Award for work on the American Legion Evergreen State program, Boy Scouts and other programs.
“We’ve always had the oath of ‘We are three,’” Mrs. Davidson said.
She told the audience she and her husband believe God and other people come before them.
John and Kay Myers were named Volunteers of the Year.
The Myers spent hours on the community’s rose garden, in the library and at school events.
“Their names kept coming up, again and again,” City Councilwoman Joan Souders said.
The President’s Award went to Jason Tolman, who was born and raised in Sunnyside but moved to Grandview three years ago.
He built Tolman Electric from the ground up, while working for other companies, Chamber President Kathy Viereck said in presenting the award.
“This award is for what he’s doing to give back to our community,” she said. “He’s quietly gone about helping S.L. Start.”
Tolman helped the agency, which serves disabled residents, acquire three duplexes and a single-family home.
The housing helps the agency’s clients live more independently, Viereck said.
With his face turning red, Tolman said: “This was really unexpected.”
Ali Hurst and Dave Smith received the Firefighter and Top Responder of the Year awards, respectively, from Fire Capt. George Saenz.
The city’s Police Officer of the Year is Sgt. Kevin Glasenapp.
Chief Kal Fuller said Glasenapp “exemplifies excellence.”
Chosen by his peers for the honor, there was “… a general theme of ‘Kevin is always there for us,’” Fuller said.
Phil Robillard was named Rotarian of the Year — he’s the club’s president.
Souders, also a member of the club, said there have been many exciting changes under his leadership.
Administrators from each of the schools also recognized staff and students for leadership and citizenship.
Emmanuel Torres was named McClure Elementary School’s Student of the Year.
McClure employees, Samantha Bentley and Patty Mendoza, were also lauded by Principal Jose Rivera.
Harriet Thompson Elementary School Principal July Wysong recognized Cole Judkins as Student of the Year.
His mother, Heather Judkins, was named Harriet Thompson’s Employee of the Year.
Smith Elementary School fifth-grade student Justin Adamson was lauded by Principal Jared Lind.
The employee recognized was Leslie Charvet.
Grandview Middle School Principal James Heinle recognized eighth-grader Angel Ramirez as the Student of the Year. Pedro Rodriguez was named Teacher of the Year.
Grandview High School’s Student of the Year recipient was Amanda Oliver, and the Employee of the Year was Omar Moreno.
At Compass High School, Alex Ramirez was named Student of the Year. The Teacher of the Year Award was presented to Sara Bowers.