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Community awards honor cream of crop

by Andrea Beaudoin

May 22, 2013

From left are Clarkston Community Awards recipients Gary Gavulic, Katie Bowman-Coleman, Peg Roth, Kevin Harrison, Rose Moshier, Bart Clark, Joel DeLong, Kathy and Gordon Pasco, Alex Kruse and Bill Kruse. Photo by Andrea Beaudoin
Clarkston residents, businesses and groups were honored in seven categories at the 28th Annual Clarkston Community Awards, hosted by Clarkston Community Church.

Citizen of the Year Joel DeLong was recognized for his contributions to local charities, schools, churches, and other groups. A member of Clarkston Rotary Club, he helps with projects including Shoes for Kids, Labor Day Parade, and decorating downtown for Christmas.

DeLong said he was honored by the award because so many people dedicate themselves to serving the community.

"I have lived in Clarkston for over 50 years," he said. "I give to ensure people can enjoy what we have here. You meet a lot of people and learn a lot through volunteer work."

Youth of the Year Award was presented to Matthew Pasco.

A member of Clarkston's Robotic Club, Team RUSH, Pasco was recognized for being a mentor and leader as well as a team player.

He also serves meals at Grace Centers of Hope and Works with Parks and Recreation to serve dinner for seniors. Matt's parents Kathy and Gordon accepted the award for their son, who was on a school trip.

"He does this all on his own," said his mom Kathy. "We could not be prouder. He motivates us."

Rose Moshier accepted the 2013 Adult-Youth Award for her volunteer work for young people in the community.

A parent of a Clarkston schools student, Moshier teamed up with Andersonville Elementary Principal Bruce Martin and created "Blessings in a Backpack." Backpacks are filled with food for students in need for the weekend.

"I still find it hard to believe that right here in Oakland County, in Clarkston Michigan we have students that are hungry," said Moshier. "It makes me proud to receive this award."

The 2013 Community Collaboration Award was presented to the Downtown Retailers Group, which was formed by Peg Roth and Kevin Harrison to promote businesses and Clarkston as a whole.

Roth said she was overwhelmed and honored by the award, and the proclamations the group received.

"I also want to thank people who shop locally," she said.

Katie Bowman-Coleman was recognized as Business Person of the Year.

Bowman-Coleman took over her father John Bowman's dealership after he passed away in 2012. She continued Bowman's community work with Clarkston Chamber of Commerce, Clarkston Area Youth Assistance Clarkston SCAMP, Easter Seals, and other groups.

Bowman-Coleman thanked the Awards Committee, Clarkston Chamber of Commerce and Dawn Horner of the Clarkston State Bank, which sponsored the award.

"I want to thank my hardworking and dedicated staff," said Bowman-Coleman. "I also want to thank my family for their unconditional support, and the support from the community."

Clarkston Rotary Club won the 2013 Community Enhancement Award for its work with shelter boxes for victims of disaster, women and girl's shelters, Shoes for Kids, Relay for Life, SCAMP and other events in the Clarkston community.

Bill Kruse of Deer Lake Inn and Gary Gavulic were chosen for the 2013 Community Beautification/Preservation award.

Kruse opened Kruse's Deer Lake Inn restaurant last year on Dixie Highway. The building had to be gutted and restored, keeping only the four interior walls and the roof.

Gavulic is recognized for his work leading and designing restoration of the "Cooper Home" on W. Washington Street in Clarkston.

Nominees also received proclamations from Independence Township, City of the Village of Clarkston, Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson, Oakland County Clerk/Register of Deeds Lisa Brown, State Sen. Jim Marleau and State Rep. Gail Haines.

Part of "Michigan Week," the event recognizes people, groups and businesses influencing the communities in a positive way. An awards and selection committee was formed to select nominees.

"The bottom line is the community is best served when leaders lead with love. They lead with love because love really works," said Clarkston Community Church Pastor Greg Henneman.

The Awards Committee was Pastor Henneman; Dawn Horner, Clarkston State Bank; Julie Meredith, Clarkston Independence Library; Penny Shanks, Clarkston Area Chamber of Commerce; Pastor Dan Whiting, Clarkston Community Church; Sandra DeZess, Clarkston Community Church; and Linda Zara, Clarkston Community Schools.

Selection Committee included Zara; volunteer Geri Batt; Donna Bullard, Clarkston Brandon Community Credit Union; Becky Kelly, Clarkston Community Schools; Theresa Rigato, Clarkston State Bank; and Dr. Thomas Stone, volunteer.