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Chamber Honors Community Members At Banquet

Sonora, CA — The Tuolumne County Chamber of Commerce held its annual Installation and Honors Banquet Thursday evening at the Sonora Elks Lodge.

The 2009 Citizen of the Year Award was given to Ron Hamilton, who is a fifth generation Tuolumne County resident. Hamilton is the 4-H Tuolumne County Council President and Leader of the Tuolumne County Pioneers. He is involved with numerous other non-profit groups including Relay for Life and the Sierra Bible Church Faith in Action Ministry Team.

The Entrepreneur of the Year is Charlene Wrighton of Safari Preschool and Daycare Center. Wrighton has lived in Groveland for 36 years, and is the founder of the Zoo-phonics Language Arts Program. In 2007, she opened the Safari Preschool and Daycare Center in Sonora.

City of Sonora Community Development Director Ed Wyllie received the Excellence in Government honor. Wyllie could not attend the event, so his award was accepted by City Administrator Greg Applegate. Wyllie has worked for the city over the past 20 years.

Nancy Anderson of Twain Harte Elementary was given the Teacher of the Year Award. Anderson has taught for 33 years and is also a licensed daycare facility owner and director for children ages 5-14.

The 2009 Students of the Year are Tioga High’s Myles Rodriguez, Don Pedro High’s Sarah Spirk, Cassina High’s Lacey Longeway, Sonora High’s Hillary Lupo and Summerville High’s Teanna Kosik.

The night was also a time to introduce new members of the Board of Directors and thank outgoing members. 2009 Board Chairman Tom Berry handed the reigns to 2010 Chairman Carl Tucker.

Written by bjhansen@mlode.com.