Complied by RHEA-FRANCES TETLEY – Staff Writer
|There were 32 people nominated by the Crestline community to become this year’s Citizen of the Year. So many residents did so many excellent deeds during the recent snow disaster; people whom the chamber would otherwise be unaware of were nominated because of their extraordinary dedication to their fellow man during the recent emergency situation, probably saving many lives through their actions.|
The chamber thought they were all were worthy of being acknowledged, so their nominations and the reasons they were nominated are being presented in alphabetical order, over the next couple of weeks. The Citizen of the Year will be announced in time to be honored during Jamboree Days. The chamber thanks the 85 people who went out of their way to nominate these residents; many people were submitted more than once because of their actions. At this writing, the winner has not been selected.
Liam Bare – received two nominations:
Liam Bare has been a staple in the Crestline community for several years. Bare served our country and continues to serve our community in many ways. He formerly worked for the Lake Gregory Company as a leader and role model for the security workers. During the recent snow disaster, he unselfishly went out and assisted the community, helping others every day. He made countless drives to the grocery store to get food for those people who could not get out. He went to numerous homes to help others in any way he could, including clearing gas meters from accumulated snow and shoveling driveways. He did this all out of the goodness of his heart for this community, never charging even one penny. He is an upstanding member of this community, who deserves to be recognized as the Citizen of the Year.
|Katy Curtis – received two nominations:|
Katy Curtis is a single mother and active community member with integrity and class, who is constantly keeping people informed about events and opportunities throughout the mountain, year-round, through her Crestline Moms Facebook page, helping to network Moms together. During the blizzard and its aftermath, she worked tirelessly to help get resources to other people in need. She personally hiked over five miles uphill from deep in Dart Canyon to the isolated, power-blacked-out Skyland neighborhood, pulling five gallons of gas on a sled to get help to a family whose child is on oxygen and needed additional gas for their generator during a week-long power outage. This was especially important since there was no gas for sale on the mountain at the time. The family was desperate to save their child, while the Skyland area was inaccessible with seven feet of snow. She probably saved the child’s life through her unselfish actions. Katy is an incredible example of someone who stepped up and made things happen in a time of crisis to help others and deserves this Citizen of the Year recognition.
|Matthew Finlason – received four nominations:|
|Matthew Finlason gave so much of himself physically, emotionally and spiritually during the nine days his Scenic Drive area was without power. He orchestrated search and rescues, snowshoed in supplies to those in need without power or heat, gathering and organizing his neighbors to work together for support during the storm. Matthew could sense the gas in the air and was able to find the leaks with his keen sense of smell and then dug out those meters. He rescued dogs from imploded homes. Day and night he checked on his neighbors, sharing firewood, food and hope. There were three generations of single women with children who were trapped, so he encouraged to them stay in his home, which became a beacon and supply hub for neighbors, firefighters and search and rescue teams. He dug out a neighbor’s Bobcat, which was buried under five feet of snow, hot-wired it and started digging people out. He created a supply chain from his Los Angeles community for winter gear, snowshoes, knives, headlamps, hand warmers, vodka, food and other necessities. His car and his roof were destroyed, water came into his house, his parking and fence were destroyed and yet he truly stepped up to selflessly help others before helping himself. The skill set and experience he brought to the mountain communities quite literally saved lives, making him worthy through his exemplary and selfless actions of being recognized as Citizen of the Year.|
Nathan Godwin – received two nominations:
Nathan Godwin truly has inspired his team and given them the tools to make Lake Gregory Regional Park a place that people want to come to for boating, kayaking, skateboarding, fishing and walking. The inflatables have attracted new visitors to the area, making the lake a central part of the community. The improvements under his direction of the meadow, new bait shop, new docks and dog park on the east end of the lake are great new improvements, improving the economy of the town. Nathan helped many people through the storm, even snowshoeing to those who asked for help. He is a proper gentleman who sees the big picture, loves this community and wants to make it successful for everyone, adding activities for locals to enjoy, as well as amenities for the regional park patrons. He would make an excellent representative as Crestline’s Citizen of the Year.
Michael Hannoun – received six nominations:
During the recent storm, Michael put all his time and effort into making sure the residents of Crestline had a local food source. The Shell station and B&L Liquor, which he manages, were the only local businesses that were able to stay open through the worst days of the storm, due to Michael’s efforts. During the storm, he put himself at risk numerous times while going up and down the mountain to get food and supplies, putting so much effort and endless hours of hard work to supply the area with as many needed resources as he could, continuing through today. He places the community before himself, putting in endless effort and hours to make sure everyone was good. Michael has always put the community before himself and continues to support and help the community with a heart of gold. The way he stood up for the people of Crestline during the blizzard was the greatest example of an outstanding citizen and he would be an excellent choice as Citizen of the Year.