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Laura Norman of Sierra Tel - photo by Virginia Lazar

Oakhurst Chamber Installation Dinner And Awards

OAKHURST – The Oakhurst Area Chamber of Commerce is proud to announce the list of honorees for service to the community in 2016, and invite the public to attend the Installation Dinner & Award Ceremony at the Tenaya Lodge on Friday, February 3, 2017.

This year’s Man of the Year is Victor Weitzel of Idea Print Work, Inc.

  • Owner of Idea Print Work, Inc. for 16 years in the Oakhurst Area
  • Rotary Member since 2001 in the Oakhurst Area and since 1995 in Newport Oregon
  • Started Rotary Santa Project for Oakhurst Sierra Rotary. This was the 14th year in which over $3,800 was raised, plus in-kind items. This effort helped 86 children and 35 families this year, and $44,000 overall.
  • Always willing to work with so many in the community with donations, discounts, contributions to service clubs, youth teams, first responders, churches, schools, YHS auto shop and much more — whenever asked to help the community.
  • Volunteered countless hours at Oakhurst Chamber events, Rotary and community events. Always willing to lend a hand and participate at these events to get the job done. Started “Evening at Erna’s” Rotary event when Rotary President a few years ago — a fundraiser for one or two non-profits each year.
  • Oakhurst Chamber Board of Directors, Boys & Girls Club Board of Directors, Car Club member including Mountain Road Rattlers, Central Valley Mustang Club and Pontiac of Central California Car Club.
  • Business Person of the Year, 1996, Newport, Oregon.
  • Volunteered for 11 years at the largest wine festival in the Northwest — Newport Seafood and Wine Festival. In 1999, he served as Chair of the event and raised more than $52,000 for the Newport Chamber.

For 2016’s Woman of the Year, the Chamber has selected Laura Norman of Sierra Tel:

  • Laura Norman – photo by Virginia Lazar

    Employed by Sierra Tel for the past 15 years, currently as Public Relations Supervisor.

  • Favorite events to host for the community: Patriot Day and Pitman Awards, Chamber events include Oakhurst Fall Festival, hosting Mixers and Mariposa Fair Booth, Santa Visit and more.
  • Founded and Chair of the Eastern Madera-Mariposa Counties VOAD (Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster) promotion and training.
  • Volunteer for American Red Cross, Oakhurst Christmas Tree Committee for the Community Christmas Tree, Christmas Tree Auction, Elegant Auction committee, Secretary of Yosemite FFA Boosters, Smokey Bear Run Treasurer, Madera County 4H Leader and Coach, Purina Show Feeds clinician for sheet and meat goats and so much more.
  • Soroptimist International of The Sierras “Women of Distinction” Award Recipient.
  • Mother, sister, friends and walking buddy.

Business of the Year honor goes to Oakhurst Grocery Outlet:

Brandon and Jessica Steele

  • Local Business Owners since 2013, Jessica & Brandon Steel.
  • An amazing community supporter including always willing to donate to all non-profits, give discounts to all emergency personnel (fire, law enforcement and EMS) as a thank you for all that they do. Other programs include the Healthy Eating for children under 12 program, Letters to Santa program, Manna House contributions and so much more.
  • VOAD and Christmas Tree Auction Board Member as well as organizing the first annual Community Easter Egg hunt event at the Oakhurst Community park.


Carrie Proctor of Oakhurst Heathcare & Wellness Centre, has been selected to receive The Executive Director Award:

  • Carrie Proctor

    Local resident of Oakhurst who attended Clovis High School and Reedley Community College, with the focus on biology.

  • Spent the last 15 years in healthcare working for Valley Children’s Hospital and Oakhurst Healthcare & Wellness Center. Her passion has been directed towards caring for others and her community. She is a volunteer for Valley Children’s Adaptive Sports where she assists with the coordination and planning of events.
  • She shows her support to the community through her work with the Oakhurst Chamber of Commerce and a member of Soroptimist International of The Sierras.
  • When she is not volunteering, she spends her time as a wife and a mother of two.

The Chamber is also extremely proud to have the privilege of announcing Mr. Ron Colgate as the recipient of the 2016 Lifetime Achievement Award — the highest possible honor the Chamber may bestow. It is presented only to those who have shown extraordinary contributions to the community through many, many years of service.

“Ron Colgate has been selflessly serving our Mountain communities for over four decades,” says Joelle Leder, Executive Director Oakhurst Area Chamber of Commerce. “If anyone needed assistance Ron was there without hesitation. He quietly and tirelessly worked in the background and always got the job done. Those who have had the honor and privilege of working along his side will never forget his smile and positive outlook on life.”

Lifetime Achievement – Ron Colgate:

Ron Colgate

Ron Colgate

  • He has been volunteering for over 40 years.
  • Employed by Sierra Tel from 1977 to 2010.
  • Volunteer of the Year and Angels Among Us Awards.
  • Volunteered for Oakhurst Chamber Fall Festival, River Parkway Project, Christmas Tree Auction, Boys & Girls Club, Children’s Museum, Oakhurst Community Park, Oakhurst Branch Library, Heritage Days and so many other events and involved in the community building, painting and refinishing of so many items for these events.
  • Married to Sherry Colgate for 55 years, father of four and grandpa to eight grandchildren.

The award recipients will be honored at the 2017 Installation Dinner & Award Ceremony on Friday, Feb. 3, 2017, at the Tenaya Lodge at Yosemite in Fish Camp, Calif. This is a special evening to welcome the new 2017 Chamber Board of Directors and honor those who go above and beyond in their community.

The entire Eastern Madera County mountain community is invited to join the celebration at the Installation Dinner & Award Ceremony, and honor the 2016 award recipients and and honor their community heroes for their many years of selfless service. It will also be a time to recognize the 2016 outgoing Chamber board members and welcome the new incoming 2017 Chamber officers and directors.

The doors will open at 6 p.m. for the reception, dinner begins at 7 p.m. and the awards will be presented after dinner. The cost for the evening is $45 per person which includes dinner by Tenaya Lodge at Yosemite. Advance reservations are required. Online tickets may be purchased at Eventbrite – https://2017oaccinstallation.eventbrite.com.

Tenaya Lodge is offering a promotional room rate specifically for this event.

Call the Oakhurst Area Chamber of Commerce at 559.683.7766 for reservations, room rate code, or additional event details. www.oakhurstchamber.com/installationdinner

This article was edited on Jan. 20 to reflect a change of date for the event to Feb. 3, 2017 due to inclement weather.

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