2018-02-08 / Front Page

Chamber’s Award Banquet held at Flushing Valley Golf Club last week

By Sam Tunningley


Mary Ann Korte [L] cracks a smile as she accepts her award with Judy Walling for Employee of the Year from Flushing Community Schools. Mary Ann Korte [L] cracks a smile as she accepts her award with Judy Walling for Employee of the Year from Flushing Community Schools. FLUSHING – Last Thursday, The Flushing Area Chamber of Commerce held a banquet at the Flushing Valley Golf Club to honor the people who made a major difference in the city and township last year. Its Annual Awards included categories for Fire Fighter of the Year, Educator of the Year and Citizen of the Year.

The ceremony started by recognizing Matt Shanafelt – the newest ambassador to the Chamber, a member of the Rotary Club of Flushing and educator in the Flushing school district. Dave Meyers, who was unable to attend the ceremony, was named Ambassador of the Year.

John Howe, Commander of American Legion Post #283, was honored in two categories. Post #283 won the Community Spotlight Award for its unwavering commitment to promoting patriotism in the community, along with its continued support for the Veteran’s Memorial Monument in the Flushing City Cemetery, which was installed with new lights this year.


Jacob Smith, treasurer of the Thomas Smith Memorial Foundation, and Judy Walling of the Flushing Area Chamber of Commerce. Smith reminded the audience, in an emotional moment during his acceptance speech, teen heart conditions often present no symptoms. 
Photo: Gary Nickel Jacob Smith, treasurer of the Thomas Smith Memorial Foundation, and Judy Walling of the Flushing Area Chamber of Commerce. Smith reminded the audience, in an emotional moment during his acceptance speech, teen heart conditions often present no symptoms. Photo: Gary Nickel Howe was also named Citizen of the Year by the Chamber. He called Flushing an “exceptionally patriotic” community in its support of the “flag, troops and patriotism.”

“Flushing is not only a great place to raise kids – it’s a good place to make friends,” said Howe.

The Thomas Smith Memorial Foundation, a local charity founded by Ambassador Mary Smith to inform the community and provide free test screenings for teen heart conditions, won business of the year. Jacob Smith, Mary’s son, accepted the award on the organization’s behalf. Smith’s brother Thomas died of an undiagnosed heart condition.


Brook Terryah [R] holds her Township Employee of the Year award along with a framed letter written by Supervisor Frederick Thorsby [L]. Brook Terryah [R] holds her Township Employee of the Year award along with a framed letter written by Supervisor Frederick Thorsby [L]. “The community has been incalculable in its support,” said Smith.

Frederick Thorsby took the stage to announce the Township Employee of the Year to Brook Terryah. Thorsby noted Terryah‘s hard work in the office, commitment to the residents who stop in to work every day and her guidance during the police department’s fire last year.

Flushing Schools Superintendent Timothy Stein awarded Educator of the Year and Employee of the Year – both selected by the district. Employee of the Year went to District Communications and Applications Specialist Mary Ann Korte, a longtime employee with the schools whose job includes producing the schools’ newsletter “The Three R’s” and managing the call database.

Korte said since finding out she had been selected for the award, a new category this year, she has been on an emotional rollercoaster.

“I wouldn’t live anywhere else,” said Korte. “I want to thank the Chamber for making [Flushing] a great, friendly place to be.”

Stein awarded Stacy Stead, a fourth grade teacher at Central Elementary who has been with the district for 23 years, Educator of the Year. The two grew emotional while Stein read off comment’s from Stead’s students, which included “She is always making us smile” and “I can trust her.”

“Thank you for to Flushing Schools for allowing to live my dream as a teacher,” said Stead. “Truly, the best part of the job is the relationships formed with students.”

The Flushing Fire Department, all of whom could not attend the ceremony, selected Jim Picknick as Fire Fighter of the Year.

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