News for those who live, work and play in the Santiam Canyon

Canyon honors excellence, volunteers at annual awards event

The Santiam Canyon celebrated good works and good people on Wednesday, April 24 at its annual awards event at Santiam High School.

Individuals, businesses and groups were honored in 10 categories by the Chamber and other agencies and groups. Some winners and nominees were not announced until awards night.

Among “surprise” awards at the event were the Marion White Volunteerism Award, which was given to Dawn Potts. The award, which was presented by Mill City, noted Plotts’ involvement on the City Council and the Planning Commission, her church, holiday decorations, the Canyon Catalysts and her stature as a one-woman litter patrol.

Also announced at the event were the Young Adult Citizen Award & President’s Choice. 

Rob Harris
Rob Harris

Rob Harris, band teacher at the junior high/high school was honored with the young adult award for his rapport with students and his teaching ability, while Micah and Jeff Keto were the President’s Choice winners, credited with contributions that have made the Canyon a better place and their “well-known smiling faces.”

Peyton Forste of Santiam High was named student of the year. Forste, who plans to enter the medical field, is a valedictorian of the Class of 2024, plays the saxophone and is described as a “kind and beautiful soul.”

The Canyon Service Center honored the volunteer firefighters at Canyon agencies and listed all of their names in the program.

The Mike Long Youth Benefit Golf Tournament gave out scholarships to nine high school students and grants to seven organizations. Student winners were Haven Blades, Bethany Wagar and Joshua Davis of Stayton High, Adelle Otter, Tyler Schumacher and Kollin Schumacher of Regis, Emily Larson and Jillian Shadrick of Santiam and Abigail Luna of Oregon Charter Academy.

Jeff and Micah Keop are shown in the audience for the April 24 North Santiam Chamber awards night. The couple received the President’s Choice award for their long-time contributions to the Canyon.submitted PHOTO
Jeff and Micah Keop are shown in the audience for the April 24 North Santiam Chamber awards night. The couple received the President’s Choice award for their long-time contributions to the Canyon.
Submitted Photo.

Organizations honored with grants were Missoula Children’s Theater, Santiam HS Leadership, Lyons Library Summer Reading, Diamondback Clovers 4H, Regis-St Mary’s playground upgrade, the Santiam music program, and the Santiam International Club.

Last year’s golf tournament proceeds helped pay for $15,000 in student scholarships and $11,000 in grants to organizations. This year’s tournament is Saturday, Sept. 14 at Mallard Creek.

Honors announced before the awards night include:

Citizens of the Year: Ryan and Nathasha Steele, owner/operators of Weddle Funeral Service  in Stayton, for their “knowledgeable, compassionate, gentle and kind” service.

Canyon Beautification and Improvement: Santiam Wrecker Sales/Santiam Towing and Recovery were honored for their “neat and tidy” truck lot, flower beds and building on the corner of Highway 226 and Main at the entry to Lyons.

Non-profit of the year: Christian Aid Ministries (CAM) was honored for the 24 homes that their 100 volunteers have helped rebuild since the 2020 wildfires.

Special guest presenters included Linn County Commissioner Sherrie Sprenger and Marion County Commissioners Danielle Bethell and Colm Willis.

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