News tapped for top award by chamber

The Greater Queen Anne Chamber of Commerce held its awards dinner at the Canlis Restaurant this year on March 11, and the Queen Anne & Magnolia News landed the organization's Presidents Award.

Also lauded with a Heritage Award was the Queen Anne Historical Society. Accepting the award was past president Isabel Eglin, who said the society felt honored by the chamber's recognition. "We try really hard to keep the past and the present connected," she added.

The chamber's Community Service Award went to the Queen Anne Helpline. Longtime director and one of the charitable organization's founders, Pat Sobek said the Helpline was honored to accept the award.

She was also featured in a videotaped interview explaining the many, many ways the organization serves those in need in Queen Anne.

The Small Business Award went to the Queen Anne branch of HomeStreet Bank and was accepted by assistant vice president and branch manager Hossein Soleymani. He said the bank was honored to accept the award and pointed out in the videotaped interview that the HomeStreet branch invests 2 percent of its pre-tax earnings in the neighborhood where its customers live and work.

The chamber's Large Business Award went to Vulcan Inc., which is transforming the South Lake Union area. Accepting the award was vice president of real estate Ada Healy, who said the Paul Allen-owned company was delighted to participate in the Queen Anne Chamber of Commerce. There's a reason for that, she explained. "We want to be connected to Lower Queen Anne."

The five awards included engraved crystal models of the Space Needle, and the dinner featured classical guitar music played by Andre Feriante, along with commentary and good-natured ribbing by Libertarian and KOMO-TV personality Ken Schram, who squared off against conservative icon John Carlson. It was the same kind of exchange the two share on a drive-time radio talk show on KVI.

The awards were meant to acknowledge the highest standards and the stellar examples the honorees bring to the community, said chamber president Don Lagerquist.

Master of Ceremonies Bill Hoffer said the News deserved the award for the paper's award-winning and extensive coverage of the Queen Anne community.

Accepting the Presidents Award was publisher Mike Dillon, who oversees four Pacific Publishing Co. community newspapers besides the Queen Anne & Magnolia News.

Speaking on a videotaped interview shown at the dinner, Dillon said the News staff strives to write at a higher level than most community papers, adding that's only possible because of the high intelligence of the paper's readership. Dillon later had this reporter stand at the dinner to acknowledge this reporter's contribution to the paper.

Speaking after receiving the award, Dillon said he appreciated the the honor, and he made a promise. "As long as Queen Anne cares what happens in its backyard, there will always be a Queen Anne News."[[In-content Ad]]