ALPENA -The list of former Mayor Carol Shafto's accomplishments is long, and the positive effect she has had on Alpena cannot be measured. She has been the recipient of many accolades in the past, but the honor she received Thursday night at the annual Alpena Area Chamber of Commerce Dinner may be the most deserving of all.
Shafto was named the 2011 Outstanding Citizen of the Year for her years of teaching, leading, promoting and loving Alpena. Before Shafto's name was revealed, chamber executive board member Dave Szydlowski listed just a few of her achievements. It didn't take long for the crowd to figure out it had to be Shafto.
"This year's winner was a teacher, a successful planner, a dedicated servant, a facilitator, volunteer and parent and grandparent," Szydlowski said. "This person has used all of these characteristics and more to help Alpena move forward. This person is truly dedicated to the vitality and success of Alpena."
News Photo by Steve Schulwitz
Carol Shafto is presented the 2011 Outstanding Citizen of the Year Award by Dave Szydlowski during the Alpena Area Chamber of Commerce Annual Dinner on Thursday. Shafto said she has always dreamed of winning the award, and it is the highest honor Alpena has to give.
After her name was announced Shafto made her way to the crowd stopping for several hugs and congratulations. Once at the podium Shafto did what she always has - proclaim her affection for Alpena.
"You all know I love this town and this is an honor, all I've always aspired to get," Shafto said. "Any time someone won this I would always say 'some day I would love to win that award.' I think it is the highest honor that Alpena can present and I'm humbled to represent this community and will continue to do so. You can kick me out of city hall, but you can't kick me out of Alpena."
After stepping from the stage she shared an emotional moment with friends and family who waited for her to the side of the stage, where more hugs and tears of joy were shared.
Shafto wasn't the only person to be recognized during the dinner. The Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary won the Northeast Michigan Workforce Development Award; the Leadership Award was presented to Neiman's Family Market; Outstanding Supporter of Junior Achievement to Amy Essex; Outstanding Customer Service Award to Neiman's Family Market; Culture Change Agent Award to Better Living Massage; Business of the Year to Chris and Missi LeFave for all four of the couple's businesses; Up and Coming Award was presented to The Alpena Shipwreck Tour.
Steve Schulwitz can be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 358-5689.