The Burney Chamber of Commerce announced the 2018 award winners at the annual Fall Fling at the Veterans Hall in Burney Saturday night September 22.
Pit River Casino was named Business of the Year. Announcing the winner, Master of Ceremonies Willie Rodrguez said, “This year’s winner was more involved in the community than ever before. They are the biggest community partner with their overwhelming desire to make Burney great and keep it great. They have given over $45,000 in donations and support to over 35 organizations and events.”
Evelyn Maldonado accepted the award on behalf of Casino Manager Mike Avelar.
Other nominees for Business of the Year were HC Griffin, Gepetto’s Pizza, Sickler Electric, Burney Falls Lodging, Sierra Pacific Industries, and High Country Realty.
Stephanie McQuade from Burney Water District was chosen as Friendliest and Most Helpful Employee. Describing Ms. McQuade, Rodriquez said, “This year’s winner provides more than just a smile and a helping hand that you would expect from a hardworking employee at the water district. She also runs the pool and makes sure all goes well. She sets up all pool activities and events. She also teaches classes. The pool is so very important to have to teach our youth to swim. Stephanie makes sure this happens.”
Other nominees for Friendliest Most Helpful Employee were Noah Bishop from Alpine Drive-In, Ken Shaffer from Safeway, Mimi McFarland from Mad Mountain Wireless, Michelle Gomez from Burney Falls Lodging, and Honorary Mayor Ralph Freitas from USA Gas.
The 2018 Volunteer of the Year is Pat Redding. Presenting the award, Rodriguez said, “This year’s winner will be there anytime you need help. She is always happy to bake for any event and what in incredibly talented baker she is! She also does the blood drives and anything at the VFW including receptions and other programs, always with a smile. People love to sing her praises and she certainly deserves it.”
Other nominees for Volunteer of the Year were Evelyn Maldonado and Mari Perez from Burney Little League, Cheryl Marx from VFW, Bobbie Lindgren from Burney Lions Auxiliary, Bill and Linda Murray from Friends of the Intermountain Library, Sandy McCullar from Mountain Cruisers, and Sally Armstrong.
Mountain Cruisers was named Organization of the Year. Describing the Mountain Cruisers, Rodriguez said, “This organization has given back to the community: the Library, Chamber, Little League, Community Center and other organizations and activities. They always host Rex Club Days. Their car shows bring fun and people to the community. They are generous, community oriented, and lots of fun.”
Other nominees for Organization of the Year included Burney Lions Club, Burney Fire District, and Rotary Club of Burney-Fall River.
One hundred and forty-four civic and business leaders from Burney and the surrounding area attended this year’s Fall Fling. The Leadership Club of Burney High School served the meal.
The theme of the banquet was “Under the Big Top.” One of the highlights was a Best Costume Contest featuring a Leopard, a Ringmaster with a whip, a Strong Man, two Clowns, and a Lion Tamer. Chamber Manager Jessica Sharp won the contest attired as a circus clown.
The event also included a silent auction, a raffle, a cake auction, and a liquor auction. Dave Barry was the highest bidder for the cake auction paying $240 for four cheese cakes made by Jessica Sharp. Burney Fire District Chief Monte Keady payed $850 for a bottle of rum.
The bidding battles were fierce. Those with the highest bids for the six cake entrees had a chance to win a beautiful hand-crafted picnic table. The winners of the bids for spirits had a chance to win a rifle or a shotgun. Strongman Doug Lindgren, won the table. Jill Barnett won the rifle and Bob Moore won the shotgun.
Proceeds from the night’s activities will support Chamber activities and events for the upcoming year.