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From left, Dan Weingartz, Carol Moore, Jill Stringer, Chris Bolton, Kelly Hyer, Kerri Gualtieri, Carol Evans, Penny Shanks, Chloe Smiley, Linda Zara, Dawn McLennen and Susan Barnes were honored with Community Awards. Photo by Phil Custodio (click for larger version)
May 25, 2011 - For Chloe Smiley of Clarkston, accepting this year's Community Award for Youth of the Year was a family affair.

She was joined at the 26th Annual Community Awards Breakfast, May 19 at Clarkston Community Church, by her parents Jean and Jim Smiley, her sister Calleja, and grandparents Clifford and Dolores Smart.

"I'm very proud of her," Jean said. "She has worked really hard. She's a very determined girl, and she loves the Lord."

"I'm very proud of what she's done she's worked really hard," Jim said. "I'm pleased the community recognized her for what she does to give back to the community."

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"I'm proud of her, she never ceases to amaze me," Dolores said

"She's great. Her parents are, too," Clifford said.

Chloe's award was in recognition of her leadership in many volunteer projects, including a 30 Hour Famine fund raiser for world hunger.

"Once you realize how much hunger there is, it doesn't take much to help," said Chloe, whose motivation comes from her church as well as community. "It's great to give back to the community,"

She plans to major in entrepreneurship and start a business. She'll continue her volunteer efforts in college, she said.

Penny Shanks, executive director for Clarkston Area Chamber of Commerce, received the Citizen of the Year award.

"Thank you so much I am so honored," Shanks said.

Her leadership efforts with the chamber helped it weather a fire which destroyed all its records in 1996, and grow membership from 82 businesses to 575.

Kerri Gualtieri received the Adult-Youth Volunteer award in honor of her many projects, including Leukemia/Lymphoma Light the Night Walk, Community Blanket Drive for DMC Hospital, and projects for Oakland County Animal Shelter and Renee Przybylski Memorial Spray Park,

"I feel this award belongs to all Clarkston teachers and support staff we're blessed to have them," Gualtieri said.

Community Collaboration Award went to Clarkston PTA Health and Wellness Expo.

"We're completely honored to be recognized," said PTA volunteer Susan Barnes.

Volunteers with Kids' Kloset was honored with the Community Enhancement award. The mission for children under 6 serves more than 100 families each month.

"We couldn't do what we do without the community," said Carol Moore of First Congregational Church of Clarkston, which runs the mission.

Carol Evans, president of Smith's Disposal, received the Business Person of the Year in recognition of more than 100 donations the company makes to community activities and programs each year.

Weingartz earned the Community Beautification/Preservation award for its renovation of the former auto dealership on Dixie Highway. The lawn and snow business opened in 2009.

Phil is editor for The Clarkston News. He is a veteran of the first Iraq war, having served in the U.S. Army.
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