Camas, WA — Nearly 90 people gathered at Camas Meadows Golf Club Wednesday night to celebrate the work of several local citizens that were honored by the Camas-Washougal Chamber of Commerce at their annual awards banquet.
After a social hour and dinner, emcee Brent Erickson helped to spotlight the Citizen, Business, and Educator of the Year awards, as well as present $1,000 scholarships to two graduating high school seniors — from both Camas and Washougal.
Katherine Boon, of Washougal High School, and Isaac Dizon, of Camas High School, were the recipients of the scholarships.
Darcy Hickey was honored as the Washougal Educator of the Year, while Doug Huegli received the same recognition for his work at Camas High School.
Washougal pastor, Bob Barber, received the distinguished honor at the chamber’s “Citizen of the Year” for his work helping the homeless. He was praised as being a citizen who looks out for others, and who celebrates unity in the community.
”I’ve only lived here for four years, but Camas-Washougal is the most beautiful and wonderful part of the world,” said Barber. “I’ve lived in British Columbia, Canada, I’ve lived in St. Louis, MO, St. Joseph, MI, I grew up in Palm Springs, CA, and I can tell you there is no better place to live right here than in Camas-Washougal.”
He reflected on his cancer battle five years ago, and the lessons that taught him.
”It taught me to not take anything for granted, but to make the most of every day,” said Barber. “Simply take a moment to open a door for someone, we can do that every day as we walk in and out of the store.”
He discussed a conversation he had four years ago with a member of the Unite! Washougal non-profit.
“How do you turn a bunch of garage doors into a community?” He asked. “You, you are the key. It’s you walking across the street and getting to know your neighbor. We live in an incredible community.”
Dawn Stanchfield, owner of Lily Atelier women’s boutique in downtown Camas, was honored as “Business of the Year.” She is credited with being essential to the revitalization of the downtown area for taking a risk and opening her store 15 years ago. At that time, the downtown Camas area wasn’t what it is today. Mayor Scott Higgins introduced her and commended her business venture, as well as her continued charitable work in the community.
She discussed how loyal her customers are, and how much she appreciates Leah Dizon, who has her own customer base at the store. And, she thanked Gail Harrington for her work in the downtown revitalization project 15+ years ago that led to the success it is today.
”It was 15 years ago, probably to the day, that I signed the lease on my space in downtown Camas,” said Stanchfield. “And, to be here 15 years later, it’s because of some really amazing people. We’re all in this together with Washougal. It’s all becoming a destination here.”
She thanked the Camas-Washougal Chamber of Commerce for the work they do in promoting businesses.
”From tech, to tourism, independent businesses, big businesses, you bring us all together and I thank you for that,” she said. “I am so proud of that. Thank you, all of you.”