The Marquette Beautification and Restoration Committee held its 13th annual awards luncheon recently. Included in award winners were;
- Jack Deo was given the Lifetime Achievement Award for his 35-year commitment to preserving a pictorial history of Marquette through his store, Superior View that was located in downtown Marquette.
- The Phil Niemisto Volunteer Award was given to Carol LaVallie for her devotion and dedication to establish and maintain the gardens at St. Michael Catholic Church since 2003. The Volunteer Award was also presented to all the past presidents of the MBRC since it was established in 1978. Those who have served the committee as chairman and/or president were Bruce and Sally Closser, Paul Bilgen, Becky Berube, Virginia Long, Barbara Kelly, Nancy Lutey, Jeannette Hauver, Shirley Eppinga and Florence Barrington.
Marquette Beautification & Restoration Committee award winners include, front row, from left, Jack Deo and Barbara Kelly; middle row, from left, Nancy Lutey, Jessie Melchiori of Marquette Mountain, Danielle Miller of Moosewood Nature Center, Pam Gilmore of Chocolay River Trading Company, Heidi Gould, Jill and Niko Economides of Coaster II; and back row, from left, Pam Christensen of Peter White Public Library, Renee Prince of Beacon House, Sally Closser, Sue Ellen Turner of Chickadees, Gisele Duehring, Karan Hendricks accepting for Mattson Park Tree Lighting, Kaye Hiebel of Marquette Regional History Center, Wes Pernsteiner of Ore Dock Brewery, Reed Benton, general manager of Hampton Inn.
The Barbara H. Kelly Historic Preservation Awards were given to individuals and businesses who had been influential in preserving Marquette and Upper Peninsula history and/or historical buildings.
- Pamela Christensen was presented the award for her leadership, guidance and vision she has given to the Peter White Public Library as director as it underwent an extensive, historically sensitive restoration and addition.
- Niko Economides and his wife Jill were given the award for their stewardship of the Coaster II, Marquette's tall ship. This 76-year-old sailboat was purchased in 2007 and was restored by Niko and his son and is on the list of National Historic Schooners.
- Kaye Hiebel received this award for her leadership in preserving the history of Marquette County. Kaye is the director at the Marquette Regional History Center and under her leadership the museum relocated to its new location.
- Wes and Andrea Pernsteiner, owners of the Ore Dock Brewery, were presented this award for their creative reuse of a converted auto garage into their nusiness in an existing historic building.
The Commercial/Business Improvement Awards were given to area businesses that had shown improvement to their properties.
- Beacon House - a safe, supportive compassionate hospitality house - improved its curb appeal on Third Street with improvements to surrounding gardens, planting of colorful flowers and painting the entrance.
- Canale-Tonella Funeral Home expanded its facility on Third Street and the details of the exterior and interior were closely matched.
- Hampton Inn is a welcome addition to Founders Landing with its brick facade, large windows and awesome view.
- The Window Display Award was given to Chickadee's for their eye-catching window display and their moose that adds charm to downtown Marquette on Washington Street.
- Chocolay River Trading Company, which recently moved to South Front Street, was also given the award for its windows that encourage you to come inside out of the noise and traffic with their rustic furniture and home decor.
The Spark Plug Awards were given to area businesses and/or individuals who have made a dramatic change.
- Gisele Duehring was given this award for her inspirational plan to transform the abandoned Lower Harbor ore dock into a botanical ecological center.
- The Marquette Downtown Development Authority was presented the award for implementing the lighting of the trees in Mattson Lower Harbor Park this winter after being encouraged by the residents of the Harbor Ridge Townhouses.
- Sign of the Times Award was given this year to the Meadows Condominium Development located off Division Street. The new eye-catching entrance of stones, rocks and bricks theme reflect the condominium theme.
The MBRC awarded the Green Spirit Award to four recipients who are working on making Marquette an even better place to live.
- Heidi Gould has established Marquette CARES (Community Amending Recycling Efforts) which educates residents on why and how to properly recycle and increase participation in composting.
- Holly Greer was instrumental in establishing the bike paths in Marquette when she was the mayor of Marquette in 1975.
- Marquette Mountain encourages the community to stay active not only throughout the winter, but it also provide activities during the summer months. The area is also a wonderfully maintained green-space in the city of Marquette.
- Moosewood Nature Center was established in 1996 to celebrate nature through education and action in the Upper Peninsula. The center located on Presque Isle Park is working on converting the old Shiras pool to a pond environment.
The MBRC has given out 178 awards since 2001 and this year 19 awards were given out in eight categories.