Educator Becki Goslow has been named Corvallis’ 2012 First Citizen
Retired educator Becki Goslow, who sees weeds and envisions a garden, was honored Friday as Corvallis’ First Citizen of 2012.
A tearful Goslow strode in high heels to the podium, handed a red rake to emcee Mike McInally, and thanked everyone who made the three-year beautification of Wilson Elementary School possible. (Hence, the rake.)
Goslow’s voice broke a little as she thanked the Wilson students who encouraged her as she worked on the garden project.
In addition to her long career as a teacher (she retired three years ago), Goslow is the president-elect of the Corvallis Kiwanis Club and has contributed in significant ways to the Old Mill Center, the Assistance League and Fall Festival. She’s been honored for her volunteerism with a USA Today Make a Difference award and a Governor’s Volunteer Award.
Goslow was among 10 people, organizations, businesses and nonprofits honored for their contributions to Corvallis during the 65th annual Celebrate Corvallis awards gala at the CH2M Alumni Center at Oregon State University.
Nominees and guests braved an icy fog to take in gourmet appetizers and a dinner catered by Forks & Corks.
The chill of an Oregon winter might explain why three of the winners were not there to accept their awards. All, coincidentally, were vacationing — or on their way — to Mexico:
• The Business of the Year Award went to Stahlbush Island Farms for its continued innovation and sustainability. The award was accepted by Carl Chambers, the oldest son of co-owners Bill and Karla Chambers.
• Tom Steele, the son of “Patron of the Arts” winner Emily Steele, accepted the award in honor of his mother’s 37 years of dedication to the Corvallis Arts Center as well as her own artistic endeavors and endowments.
• And Senior First Citizen winner Susan Poole — who previously had been named First Citizen and a Hans Neukomm Award winner — had planned her trip long in advance of the event. Judy Corwin of the Corvallis Clinic accepted in her stead. Poole has been active with the Puttin’ On The Pink event, Corvallis Rotary Club, Financial Stewardship Resources, Boys & Girls Club of Corvallis, Old Mill Center, Community Outreach Inc. and Leadership Corvallis.
The 2012 Junior First Citizen award went to Lee Eckroth, who also had been nominated in 2006. The president-elect of the Rotary Club of Greater Corvallis, Eckroth also is involved with Benton Furniture Share and his church.
Erynne Van Zee, a student at Crescent Valley High School, was selected as the Future First Citizen. The award, sponsored by OSU Federal Credit Union, awards a high school senior a $500 scholarship. It came in recognition of a record of community service that included a mission to Paraguay, a dedication to sustainability and sharing her music at the local Stone Soup kitchen.
Sandy and Lynda McHenry received the Entrepreneur of the Year award for their popular Eats and Treats Cafe, which serves gluten-free selections, and their fast-growing Big River Grains gluten-free enterprise.
Steve Uerlings of Barker-Uerlings Insurance was chosen as the recipient of the Robert C. Ingalls Business Person of the Year award.
Named for the late Gazette-Times publisher, the award honored Uerlings’ 34 years as a community leader, former Junior First Citizen and his lead role in endeavors such as the United Way, Rotary, Kiwanis, Jaycees and the Samaritan Foundation.
Benton Habitat for Humanity, which builds houses for — and with — the people who need them, won the Good Steward of the Planet Award.
Willamette Neighborhood Housing Services was honored as The Community/Nonprofit Organization of the Year for 2012 because its 12-person staff and 90 volunteers have helped provide affordable, quality housing to 1,260 people.
Frequent laughter marked the hour-long presentation portion of the event.
Keeping things moving along were McInally, the general manager and editor of the Mid-Valley Newspapers, and fellow emcee John Marler, a longtime broadcast news journalist who is a consultant and an instructor in new media communications at OSU.
They alternated between witty banter during the presentation to a heartfelt memorial tribute to former honorees, including the late Mario Pastega, Bev Larson, Robert Mix, Barbara Sackett, Steve Sparkes and Gene Dickerhoof.
The group of Corvallis leaders honored them — and their continuing impact on Corvallis — with a round of applause.