ALASKA BRASS – High school brass musicians from around the state enrolled in the Sitka Fine Arts Camp's Alaska Brass Workshop play at Odess Theater this afternoon during a free concert that also featured students in the camp's new String Chamber Music Intensive. Pictured are, from left, Tava Guillory, Sitka;Mark Davis, Haines; Hudson Adams, Sitka; Jacob Batchelder, Fairbanks; and Hanna Morrow, Kenai. The musicians will perform another free concert at Odess Theater Friday at 3 p.m. (Sentinel Photo by James Poulson)

Chamber Honors Community Supporters

By Sentinel Staff

Sitka Chamber of Commerce presented service awards to state Sen. Bert Stedman and Baranof Realty and, in a surprise move, honored a group of “Community Heroes” at its annual banquet Saturday night.


Past Cossack Cap recipient Jeff Budd, left, stands with Sen. Bert Stedman, after Stedman received this year’s award. (Photo by Tim Shobe) 

The heroes were the responders to the Kramer Avenue landslide last August in which three men lost their lives.

Keith Perkins, who presented the award, said the Chamber wanted to “honor the rescue efforts, and the rescuers,” and described the intensive search and recovery efforts by scores of volunteer and professional responders.

The banquet audience stood and applauded while Fire Chief Dave Miller and several other firefighters and volunteers came forward to accept the award, and continued to stand while Miller spoke briefly.

Stedman, who has represented Sitka in the Senate since 2003, received the Chamber’s Cossack Cap award, and was cited for his “unselfish and extraordinary public service to the citizens of Sitka.”

Stedman has served as co-chair of the Senate Finance Committee and currently is chair of the Health and Social Services Committee. He is a member of the Education Committee and the Labor and Commerce Committee. He was thanked for his work getting funding for such Sitka projects as the Performing Arts Center, the Sitka Library expansion, road upgrades and the Moller Park ballfield.

Last year’s winner, Jeff Budd, presented Stedman with the Cossack Cap.

Travis Vaughan, real estate agent and property manager, collected the Business of the Year Award for Baranof Realty.


Baranof Realty owner Travis Vaughan, left, receives the Business of the Year Award from last year’s recipient Silver Bay Seafoods CEO Rich Riggs.  Riggs is also Chamber Board President. (Photo by Tim Shobe)

Now in its 30th year as a Sitka business, Baranof Realty supports Chamber activities, collaborating in the holiday lights contest, facilitating new businesses, helping develop a youth flag football league and marketing Sitka at a trade show.

Rich Riggs, CEO of Silver Bay Seafoods which received the award last year, made the presentation to Vaughan.


Keith Perkins, left, and Chamber of Commerce board member Ptarmica McConnell, right,  present Sitka Fire Department Chief Dave Miller with the Community Heroes Award.  (Photo by Tim Shobe)

The banquet, with a Brazilian Carnival theme, was held at the Alaska Raptor Center.


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