Chamber honors citizens, companies for their service


Staff writer

Two individuals and two local companies were honored last weekend for their contributions to the community at the Federal Way Chamber of CommerceŽ’s 50th Anniversary banquet and auction.

Hundreds of people donned black-tie formal wear for the annual event last Saturday at Twin Lakes Golf and Country Club.

The Chamber of Commerce is expected to have dollar figures from the live and silent auctions tallied by the end of this week.

Debbie Kaufman, publisher of the Federal Way Mirror, which co-sponsored the auction, announced the winners of the citizen, volunteer, small business and large business of the year awards.

Peggy LaPorte, this yearŽ’s Citizen of the Year, found her motivation to give back to the community several years ago, when she heard Federal WayŽ’s only shelter would be closing down following a dry-up of funding.

She held a fund-raiser to gather the resources to purchase housing units to use as transitional housing for the homeless. She called it FUSION, which stands for Friends United to Shelter the Indigent, Oppressed and Needy.

Ž“ItŽ’s truly an honor,Ž” LaPorte said. Ž“There are so many people out there in this community who deserve it, but I truly appreciate it. I will continue to work within the community as a volunteer and I think it encourages others, knowing your efforts are recognized.Ž”

LaPorte encouraged others to get involved, saying itŽ’s as easy as holding a fund-raiser.

Donna Gullickson received the Volunteer of the Year award for her work with St. Francis Hospital. Gullickson also said she was honored, but not without a call to arms. Ž“We need volunteers,Ž” she said.

John and Amy HatcherŽ’s Cafe Pacific catering received the small business of the year award for the companyŽ’s continued support of local businesses and events. John Hatcher thanked the audience for the award ŽÑŽÊand for their business.

Capital One received the large business of the year award.

John Carnahan, site director for the Federal Way office, said they were extremely honored to get the award and acknowledged the good work of past recipients and others in the community.

Ž“ItŽ’s just great to be part of the effort,Ž” he said.

Employees get involved in Capital OneŽ’s projects, which include the Education Foundation, a literacy program in cooperation with the school district; the Building Bridges program, which helps the entire life cycle of at-risk families; and the Advancing Leadership Program. Carnahan said Capital One managers also are on the boards of the Boys and Girls Club and the YMCA.

The award is Ž“a testament to the folks here at Capital One,Ž” he said. Ž“ThereŽ’s a culture of involvement and people here have really embraced that.Ž”

Despite a recent announcement of layoffs and the pending closure of Capital OneŽ’s call center, the production offices in the main building will remain open, Carnahan said.

Ž“We will continue to be very committed to the community,Ž” he said.

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