Chamber to present awards, but in-person gala cancelled due to COVID-19

Online nomination form now available for 2020 Grayling Regional Chamber of Commerce honors
The Grayling Regional Chamber of Commerce has cancelled the in-person gathering for its annual Awards Gala, but the chamber still plans to present its annual honors, and the online nomination system is now available.
The Chamber of Commerce awards include “Service Person of the Year, Chamber Member Business of the Year, Citizen of the Year, You Made it Happen, Longevity Award, and Chamber Member Organization of the Year,” according to the chamber.
A link to the 2020 Grayling Chamber “Socially Distant” Awards Nomination online form is available at
“Even though this year’s in-person Awards Gala isn’t taking place, we feel that it is especially important this year to recognize Chamber member and community accomplishments in 2020. Therefore, we will be accepting online nominations in the next few weeks and presenting awards via a virtual platform sometime in late spring,” according to the Chamber of Commerce.
Chamber officials said the presentation of the awards to the winners may be held partially in-person depending on regulations and conditions at the time.
“The announcement of winners is still to be determined at this time. The event may be open to the public or held online with just our nominees present and available to stream at home. Details will follow as we navigate further guidelines to come for gatherings,” according to the Chamber of Commerce.
The deadline for submitting nominations for the 2020 Chamber of Commerce awards is Monday, April 19, according to Chamber officials.
There are six awards.
The Kirk Wakefield Service Member of the Year award “was inspired by the recent recipient of the 2018 Citizen of the Year Award, the late Kirk Wakefield. This award may be given to someone whose contributions and/or commitment of service as military or first responders (i.e. police officer, public safety, firefighter, EMS, etc.) has made a positive impact on the Grayling/Crawford County community over the past year. This award recognizes those who continue to put their lives on the line for the safety of others in our community/country,” according to the Chamber.
The Chamber Member Business of the Year award is for a business “that exemplifies exceptional customer service, generosity, giving of their time, money, staff, and/or facilities for community benefit, or has implemented new construction or renovation projects that serve as an investment or as an enhancement to Crawford County” and “is an example to other businesses in the community, one who supports the Chamber, and who has been a leader in their industry and in the community as a whole.”
The Chamber of Commerce looks to present the Citizen of the Year award “to the person who has given of themselves to make Crawford County a great place to live. The Citizen of the Year is one of the highest honors bestowed by the Chamber. The person, who goes above and beyond the call of duty, is always there when someone needs a hand, and who has contributed to make Crawford County a special place. The nominee may be recognized for contributions made during the previous year or over the course of a lifetime. When nominating someone, please consider the following criteria: diversity of activities, length of service, degree of involvement, and the impact to Crawford County.”
The You Made it Happen award is “given to a person, business, or organization who, through exceptional contributions and/or commitment, positively affected the growth of the Grayling/Crawford County community over the past year by implementing one specific event, service, project, or idea (i.e. fundraiser, community event, etc.),” according to the Chamber.
The Longevity Award goes “to a business that has withstood the test of time, has sincere relationships with their employees and their customers, has helped make an economic impact in Crawford County, and continues to help our community thrive.”
The Chamber Member Organization of the Year award is for a group “that has exemplified excellence in service work throughout the past year. For showing generosity by giving time, money, staff/volunteers, facilities, among other things for community benefit, setting an example for other organizations in the community, supporting the Chamber, and being a leader in the organization as well as the community,” according to the Chamber.
Three of the awards – Chamber Member Organization of the Year, Chamber Member Business of the Year, and Longevity Award – require that nominees be current members of the Grayling Regional Chamber of Commerce (as of 2020). A list of current Chamber members is available online at

Crawford County Avalanche

Mailing Address
Box 490
Grayling, MI 49738

Phone: 989-348-6811
FAX: 989-348-6806

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