2006-10-26 / News

Chamber names citizens of the year

Chamber president Sara Woolfendon and Karen Rykhus.Chamber president Sara Woolfendon and Karen Rykhus.By Mike Arnholt
LA View Editor
The Lapeer Chamber of Commerce has selected Jim Jessop and Karen Rykhus as its Male and Female Citizens of the Year for 2007.

The 28th annual award winners were among 10 nominees for this year’s award.

Jessop, a former Lapeer Schools principal, was cited for his founding membership of the Lapeer Historical Society and the founding of the Lapeer Genealogical Society. For 20 years, annual daylily sales hosted by the Elba Twp. resident and his wife, Lorraine, have helped fund many charities throughout the county. Jessop was out of town and not present for the award.

The Female Citizen of the Year award went to Karen Rykhus, a teacher in the Lapeer Community Schools, for her volunteer efforts to pass the recent school bond issues and her involvement with Friends of the Library, Goodfellows, LACADA, Lapeer Historical Society, the PIX Theatre and the Red Hatters.

The Chamber also named its first-ever Educator of the Year and Public Safety Award.

North Branch sixth-grade teacher Lucinda Mitchell took the educator honors for her dedication to her NASA-based space education program.

Lapeer volunteer fire fighter Jim Petersen earned the public safety award for his 12 years of efforts in fire safety education, including the recent addition of a fire robot to Lapeer’s fire prevention programs.

The Thursday evening banquet included entertainment by the a capella quartet Three Men and a Tenor.

Nominees for this year’s male citizen of the year award included Mike Blazo, Bruce Cady, Dave Clemens, Byron Konschuh, Rick Menzing, Bill Rykhus and Peter Whitman.

Female nominees were Carol Clemens and Mary Sue Weber.

The other educator nominee was Betty McCauley and public safety nominees included Gary Parks and Rachel Swailes.

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