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Chamber names Chocolate Shoppe business of the year

The Carson Valley Chamber of Commerce has announced the selection of the organizations and businesses to be honored at the upcoming Community Recognition Awards Gala, to be held on Nov. 5. This year's list was drawn from a pool of nominees that were named in letters submitted to the Chamber and event co-sponsor, The Record-Courier. Not a ballot, the winners are chosen based on the contributions they have made to the Carson Valley community in the past year as determined by a selection committee.

The Business of the Year for 2016 is the Chocolate Shoppe. In addition to being the prototype of owner operated businesses that succeed by continually providing a spectacular product and outstanding customer service, the Chocolate Shoppe has quietly provided support to numerous fund raising efforts over the years and Harvey and Lynn are a true asset to the community.

The Nonprofit of the Year is the Douglas Center for Hope and Healing. Their chosen task of helping the members of the community cope with the loss of a loved one is a difficult one and their staff and volunteers do it remarkably well. One on one counseling, ongoing peer groups and their Camp Hope program are just a few of the ways they perform their task, all at no charge to the people and families they help.

The Citizens of the Year are a remarkable husband and wife team that are relatively new to Carson Valley but have already made their mark. Dan and Lois Wray have brought jobs here with the opening of the offices of Biofilm Management, have been a great example for us to use to encourage other entrepreneurs to follow suit and Dan has taken a lead role in the activity of the Business Council. Lois Wray was the driving force behind the restoration of one of the oldest buildings in the state, bringing the Pink House back to life as an example of Gothic Revival architecture, a thriving business and gathering spot in Genoa. The receiving of a Historic Preservation Certificate from the Department of the Interior – National Park Service speaks to quality of the project and the Wray's commitment to Carson Valley.

The Service Club of the Year is the Kiwanis Club of Carson Valley. A past recipient of this award, the Kiwanians had a great 2016, which earned them the honor again. In the past year, the highlights have included their continuing success in growing Project Santa Claus by recruiting the participation of a growing group of volunteers and other service clubs. While continuing their programs, including the Key Club at Douglas High School and the awarding of $10,000 in scholarships, the Kiwanis Club is in the process of establishing a new Service Leadership Program, the Aktion Club, to work with adults 18 and over living with a disability.

Our Employees of the Year are the staff at Family Support Council. In the past year, while continuing their programs of confidential and free support, resources, referrals, and educational services as well as maintaining an emergency shelter for adult and child victims of domestic, sexual, and family, stalking or dating violence, the Family Support Council has embarked on a new and notable project, Jessie's Ranch, which will provide a day-program and support providers to disabled adults who have 'aged out' and no longer receive assistance from the Douglas County School District.

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Finally, the Volunteer of the Year is Andrea Rajeski. Working in the senior community for over a decade, Andrea is the current president of Young at Heart, a member of A.V.I.D. (Active Volunteers in Douglas) and on the Board of the County's Senior Services Advisory Council. This honor is given for more than just a list of projects and accomplishments. Anyone who knows Andrea is well aware of her leadership skills, her willingness to jump in and do the work and determination to get things done.

The individuals and organizations will be honored at the Annual Community Recognition Dinner Nov. 5 at the Carson Valley Inn. For more information on how you can join in honoring the winners, visit carsonvalleynv.org and click on Community Recognition Awards Gala from the home page or you can call the Chamber office at 782-8144 between 8 and 5.