Chamber announces Community Service Award nominees.

April 19, 2017

Chamber announces Community Service Award nominees. 

There are seven nominations for the 2016 Ludington & Scottville Area Chamber of Commerce Community Service award.

Nominees include: Tom and Patricia Ezdebski of Ludington, Dave and Shelia Preston of Ludington, Ed Santarelli of New York state, Rick Plummer of Ludington, Sally and Jerry Cole of Scottville, the Ludington Petunia Parade Committee, and Kathy Radtke of Ludington.

“Kathy is a former teacher at Ludington Area Schools and although she is now retired, she maintains a true love for teaching and cares deeply for children,” wrote Kristen Korendyke, executive director of Sandcastles Children’s Museum, who nominated Radtke. “Kathy has been involved with Sandcastles since we first opened our doors 10 years ago. She is a very important part of our team of volunteers. 

“Kathy is the head of our Educational Enrichment Committee which emphasizes the learning aspect of each exhibit. She adds educational signs and tools that help children learn as they play. From the emphasis of healthy foods in our grocery store to learning to gently handle a newborn in our hospital nursery exhibit, Kathy’s thoughtful approach to teaching is a big part of our hands-on museum.

“As you walk through the museum, you can see Kathy’s influence throughout.  In our little school room she has added the alphabet and pledge of allegiance, in Egypt a wooden mummy for kids to wrap, descriptions of how to build a pyramid, and Egyptian necklaces to decorate and wear home, our post office has post office boxes and realistic mail and postcards for kids to deliver to different exhibits made with Kathy’s careful hand,  the restaurant has photos of the food labeled on each bin so that kids who cannot read still know where everything should go,  Grandpa’s Farm upstairs has diagrams that explain chickens laying eggs, how cows are milked and a beautiful display of the different birds and snakes that live in Michigan.  And this just touches on some of the wonderful things Kathy does to help kids learn at Sandcastles.”

Wallace Cain of Ludington nominated the Ludington Petunia Parade.

“Driving down Ludington Avenue or around the marina during the summer months and seeing all of the red, white and blue petunias puts one in awe. Visitors and residents alike admire and appreciate these beautiful flowers in our town.

 “The petunias are planted and cared for by the Ludington Petunia Parade through private donations, careful planning and hard work.  Fund raising is done throughout the year and come early spring the work begins; ordering, purchasing, fertilizing, planting, watering, replanting, weeding, and pulling out in September.”

Sally and Jerry Cole were nominated by Rob Alway, editor-in-chief of Mason County Press.

“Sally and Jerry are owners of Cole’s Antique Villa in downtown Scottville,” Alway wrote. “Prior to moving to Scottville three years ago, the Coles operated their business in downtown Ludington for over 20 years. Since coming to Scottville, Jerry and Sally have become active members of the Scottville community, serving on the City Commission, Planning Commission, Scottville Summerfest Celebration, Scottville Harvest Festival and Downtown Development Authority board. They have taken the lead in heading up beatification projects such as overseeing the downtown flower planters and also maintenance of the parking lot islands. Sally and Jerry’s enthusiasm and optimism are perfect examples of the type of leaders this community needs and I believe they are well deserving of the honor of the Community Service Award.”

Rick Plummer was nominated by Patrick Lopeman, president of Bay View Broadcasting. Plummer is executive director of the Mason County Historical Society.

His tireless efforts to improve the image of our community cannot easily be listed on several pages,” Lopeman wrote. “Since his retirement, a few years ago, he has made community leadership his fulltime job.”

Ed Santarelli, president of Ludrock, was nominated by Lexi Alvesteffer of Ludington. Alvesteffer also nominated Santarelli for the award last year.

Organizations that have benefited from Ludrock’s work are the Ludington Area Center for the Arts, the Ludington Area Schools Youth Resource Center, Staircase Youth Services, Sandcastles Children’s Museum, the Bob Parker Music Scholarship Fund, Hospitality Inc., the Lakeshore Resource Network, and the Ludington Area Jaycees. Although Ed, a Ludington native, now lives in New York, he has a great love of our community and strives to support it, even from afar.”

Dave and Shelia Preston were nominated by Brad Reed, president of the Ludington Area Center for the Arts.

“Dave and Sheila have both been extremely active in our community since moving here,” Reed wrote. “Sheila has been one of the key hospital volunteers for several years and has helped run multiple fundraisers over the years.  She has logged over 500 hours of volunteerism multiple years and now is spending her time and energy helping the Ludington Area Center for the Arts.  Sheila is now the paid coordinator of the West Shore Art Fair for the LACA.  As with a lot of paid non-profit jobs, she volunteers way more hours every week then she gets paid for.  Sheila knows how to get things done!  Dave is also heavily involved with the LACA.  Dave has taken over as the volunteer program director at the Art Center and already is having a huge impact on the success of multiple programs.  Dave also has a huge passion for music and along with several other people in town, has helped raise the level of awareness of how many incredible local musicians we have here.  He can often be found playing at the Mitten or at the Art Center.  Dave has spent hundreds of hours volunteering his time and talents to also organize and run multiple fund raisers at the Art Center.”

Tom and Patricia Ezdebski, who are both employed at Spectrum Health Ludington Hospital, wwere nominated by Alvesteffer as well.

“Tom and Patricia are dedicated to community service and do so in many different areas,” Alvesteffer wrote. “Together they head up the Ludington Optimist Club’s Childhood Cancer Campaign which supports local children fighting cancer and their families. Support has included money for groceries, gas, car repair and maintenance, and bills for families helping their child beat cancer. Both are also heavily involved in church activities and Tom has been a volunteer coach for many rec sports teams over the years. Tom and Patty truly embody the spirit of service to their community and it is evident that they wholeheartedly enjoy helping others.”

The 2016 Business of the Year Award winner will be announced at the Chamber’s Annual Dinner on May 6.

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