Citizen of the Year Susie Brandelius with the Forks Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Lissy Andros, who caught up with Brandelius on Monday to present her award and flowers. (Christi Baron/Olympic Peninsula News Group)

Citizen of the Year Susie Brandelius with the Forks Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Lissy Andros, who caught up with Brandelius on Monday to present her award and flowers. (Christi Baron/Olympic Peninsula News Group)

Forks chamber celebrates community awards

Citizen, volunteer, business of the year lauded

FORKS — Susie Brandelius was celebrated as the Citizen of the Year during the Forks Chamber of Commerce’s annual Best of Awards ceremony at Blakeslee’s Bar and Grill.

Brandelius was nominated for her selflessness and dedication to supporting the senior population in Forks, along with her advocacy for grandparents raising grandchildren. Also nominated were Forks Police Chief Mike Rowley, Devennie Anderson, Donald Grafstrom, Jessica Sorensen and Shannon Damron.

The event April 17 drew a large crowd. Lissy Andros, the executive director of the Forks Chamber of Commerce, welcomed attendees and expressed gratitude to chamber volunteers, staff and board members for their contributions.

Andros emphasized the role volunteers play in the success of non-profit operations in Forks.

Randy Mesenbrink and Richard Halverson were recognized for their efforts as log tour guides, hosting 107 individuals last season. The Logging & Mill Tour, supported by sponsors like Dahlgren Logging, will begin tours again in May.

The Forever Twilight in Forks Festival was lauded for the year-round efforts of its Planning Committee.

Andros commended the committee members who contribute their time, resources and skills to make the festival a success.

The event honored Jessica Sorenson as the Volunteer of the Year for her exemplary service across various organizations, including the PTO at elementary and middle schools, the West End Youth League and her church. Other nominees were Bruce Guckenberg, Jim Strong, Linda Keen and Mike Leavitt.

Ginger’s Closet, formerly known as Forks Clothing Bank and Disaster Relief, received the Halvie Award for its exceptional service to the community.

Layla Rawls and Sena Engeseth accepted the award on behalf of the nonprofit, whose nomination letter acknowledged its impact in the community.

The Business of the Year award was given to Evergreen 76/Subway, recognizing its community service and business practices. Other businesses recognized were Beaver Grocery Store, Bug & Buf’s Espresso, Forks Athletic & Aquatic, Ginger’s Closet, Kim’s Creations & Tulle Shed, Miller Tree Inn, Olympic Artforge, Sasquatch The Legend and Westend Taproom Tip & Sip.

In reflecting on last year’s achievements, Andros highlighted record-breaking visitor numbers, with the chamber’s Visitor Information Center welcoming 65,506 individuals. The Forever Twilight in Forks Collection also experienced significant growth, with 21,567 visitors to the gallery during the summer months.

More in News

Sen. Kevin Van de Wege.
Van de Wege honored as Legislator of Year

The Washington Farm Bureau has recognized state Sen. Kevin Van… Continue reading

U.S. Representative Derek Kilmer, D-Gig Harbor, with Maya MacGuineas, president of the bipartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget.
Kilmer recognized by committee as Fiscal Hero

U.S. Rep. Derek Kilmer has been recognized as Fiscal… Continue reading

The rhododendrons in front of the Clallam County Courthouse are in full bloom on Monday. Spring weather will turn to showers for the rest of this week with high temperatures in the high 50s to low 60s. (Dave Logan/for Peninsula News)
In full bloom

The rhododendrons in front of the Clallam County Courthouse are in full… Continue reading

Officials cautious about shelter

Jefferson considers taking over operations

Habitat of Clallam County to open homes for veterans

Ribbon cutting for four-unit project set for May 28

Clallam commissioners reject McDonald Creek fish passage bid

Estimate more than doubles engineer’s projection

Volunteers work to construct the main play structure of the Dream Playground at Erickson Playfield in Port Angeles on Sunday, the last day of a five-day community build to replace play equipment destroyed by arson in December. The playground, built entirely with donated labor, will be substantially complete with primarily detail work and play surface installation still to come. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula News)
Finishing touches

Volunteers work to construct the main play structure of the Dream Playground… Continue reading

Seabrook CEO Casey Roloff talks with community members about a planned 500- to 600-home development near Sequim Bay on April 23 at John Wayne Marina. (Michael Dashiell/Olympic Peninsula News Group)
Sequim site could include 600 homes

Developer eyeing property near John Wayne Marina

Wait times at Olympic Medical Center emergency department improving, board told

Hospital aims to see patients within 30 minutes of arrival

Clallam to develop Salt Creek campsites for trail

Estimated development cost is $15,000 with annual maintenance at $1,500

Sarge’s Veteran Support house managers, from left, Danny Deckert, David Durnford and Steve Elmelund welcome attendees to the organization’s first fundraiser at the Dungeness River Nature Center on April 27. The event raised nearly $50,000. (Sarge’s Veteran Support)
Sarge's Veterans Support gets nearly $49K in first fundraiser

More than 100 attend event at Dungeness River Nature Center

Sequim schools looking at options with budget struggles

District freezes most hiring, aims to cut at least $2.5 million