MARQUETTE - The Marquette Beautification & Restoration Committee held its 12th annual awards luncheon on May 10. The committee annually honors individuals and/or businesses that have made a positive impact on Marquette.
This year there were 17 awards given out in eight categories. Included were:
- Marion Sonderegger was given the Lifetime Achievement Award. She has been very involved in the community throughout her life and graciously has helped fund and work on many projects in the city, including the Presque Isle Pavilion. Sonderegger has been a longtime patron of the arts and culture and has been a founding member of many organizations. She recently agreed to chair the new MBRC project of restoring the Father Marquette statue.
Shown at the recent Marquette Beautification & Restoration Committee award presentation are, from left: Front row — Shirley LaBonte, Marion Sonderegger, Dick Vivian, Sonia Stucko, Andrea Forsberg, Sara Cambensy and Debbie Veiht, accepting for the Graveraet Fountain, and Audrey and Peter Kaufman; second Row — Jim Scullion representing Cliffs Natural Resources, Joel Dow - Store Manager of Walgreens, Steven Pellinen of Superior Model A, Gavin Leach of Northern Michigan University, Mona Lang of the Downtown Development Authority, Julie Napel and Paula Hughes-Jonnsonof Darling: The Corner Boutique; and top Row — Jim Thams of NMU, Mike LaTulip, caretaker of Marquette Federation of Women’s Clubs, Cook Sign Services owner Dan Landers and Mary Buckman, representing the Marquette Federation of Women’s Clubs.
- The Phil Niemisto Volunteer Award was given to two members of the Telephone Pioneers of America who have been involved in the Adopt-A-Park project since 1986. Shirley LaBonte has made the Dead River Park, also known as LaBonte Park, beautiful and inviting with its flowers and a waterfall. Dick Vivian has been the caretaker of the Welcome Sign on US 41 South. He planted flowers, watered and kept the grass mowed throughout the growing season.
- The Barbara H. Kelly Historic Preservation Award recognizes those who have been influential in preserving Marquette and Upper Peninsula history and/or historical buildings.
Cliffs Natural Resources received the award for maintaining the Upper Harbor ore dock for 100 years, and the Graveraet Fountain and Courtyard was also a recipient of this award. The fountain was restored to its original glory with a committee and hundreds of volunteers who were led by Sara Cambensy.
Peter and Audrey Kaufman were given the award for their involvement and ongoing generosity to the community. Graveraet School and Kaufman Auditorium are in Marquette because of the Kaufman family.
The Superior A's, chaired by President Steve Pellinen, was awarded the historic preservation award for the Model A Convention to be held in Marquette in June. Club members have a passion for the Ford Model A and restoring them.
- The Commercial/Business Improvement Award was given to area businesses that have shown improvement to their properties. Dr. Gary Asano and Dr. Stephen Wissler received the award for their well-landscaped professional building that is hidden behind the pine trees at the corner of Fair and Lincoln avenues.
Cook Sign Services was also recognized for recently painting the building, extending the awning and erecting a new sign. It also installed a garden on the corner of Washington and Garfield.
Mike and Sonia Stucko received the award for extensive renovation to the exterior and interior of Stucko's Pub & Grill on Third Street.
Walgreens was recognized for its brick building, eye-pleasing signage and nicely landscaped green space.
- The Window Display Award was given to Darling: The Corner Boutique for its distinctive, eye-catching windows and overall appeal at the corner of Front and Washington.
- The Spark Plug Award is given to area businesses and/or individuals who have made a dramatic change. Andrea Forsberg, owner of Flower Works LLC, took a drab parkway and made it a beautiful, blooming area on the corner of Park and Third streets.
- Two Sign of the Times Award was given this year to the Marquette Federation of Women's Clubs, which has a new, beautifully painted sign that was designed by Mike LaTulip. The sign will also serve as an event calendar for the clubhouse.
Northern Michigan University also was given this award for its new signage at the entryways into campus. These signs are supported by a stone base and include the NMU logo.
- The Green Spirit Award went to two recipients. The Marquette Downtown Development Authority was given the award for the installation of the artistic blue bike racks on Washington and Front streets. The DDA also installed electric charging stations and bike racks in the parking ramp.
The Lake Superior Watershed Partnership was presented a Green Spirit Award for its Red Bucket Project that targets keeping cigarette butts from entering Lake Superior and being washed up on the beaches.
Each year the committee seeks nominations for these awards., which can be made on the organization's website at www.mqtbeautification.org. Forms may be downloaded to make nominations for 2013. For more information, call 226-9618 or 225-5077.