PLA names 2018 Distinguished Service Award winners

The Harbor Commission Distinguished Organization Award is presented by the PLA's John Wemlinger and Margaret Punches to Harbor Commision members. (Courtesy photo)

The Harbor Commission Distinguished Organization Award is presented by the PLA’s John Wemlinger and Margaret Punches to Harbor Commision members. (Courtesy photo)

ONEKAMA — The Portage Lake Association has honored the hard work and efforts with the annual Distinguished Service Awards during the association’s annual meeting and community picnic on June 18.

Doug Calloway receives his Distinguished Individual Service Award from Margaret Punches, on behalf of the Portage Lake Association. (Courtesy photo)

Doug Calloway receives his Distinguished Individual Service Award from Margaret Punches, on behalf of the Portage Lake Association. (Courtesy photo)

The awards are meant to recognize the efforts of businesses, organizations and individuals whose efforts over time contribute to making Onekama a better place in which to live, work and play.

Doug Calloway received the Distinguished Individual Service Award. The award citation called him a quiet, behind-the-scenes worker on multiple projects throughout the Onekama community, freely giving of his time, expertise and equipment to accomplish things that have truly made the area a better plac.

A long-time resident of Onekama, Calloway’s quiet volunteerism spans many years and many projects. His unselfish attitude and time commitment over the years reflect a deep and strong dedication to the community.

Blarney Castle’s Onekama EZ Market was recognized with the 2018 Distinguished Business Award. Not only did the EZ Market come to the rescue when Onekama was without a grocery store, the new facility has brightened the community with a gleaming structure filled with a tremendous variety of items. Everyone benefits from the new EZ Market whether they are a local who lives in Onekama year-round, a seasonal resident or a visitor passing through on their way to other points.

The Portage Lake Association also chose to present a Distinguished Organization Service Award to the Portage Lake Harbor Commission, which has been hard at work since 2007 to improve the channel connecting Portage Lake to Lake Michigan.

Beth McCarthy, on behalf of Blarney Castle's Onekama EZ Market, accepts PLA's Distinguished Business Award for 2018. (Courtesy photo)

Beth McCarthy, on behalf of Blarney Castle’s Onekama EZ Market, accepts PLA’s Distinguished Business Award for 2018. (Courtesy photo)

Designated as a Harbor of Refuge, the channel into Portage Lake has been in need of dredging and repairs to its aging seawall. Recently the US Army Corps of Engineers awarded a $4.2 million contract to effect needed repairs. It is estimated that this will have an $18 million economic impact on the community.

It is very likely that without the hard work of the Portage Lake Harbor Commission and their advocacy for these important projects, repairs to the channel might not have come to fruition. Members of the Portage Lake Harbor Commission are Jim Mrozinski, Denny Blue, Chuck May, Roger Burger, Frank English, Jim Simons and Steve Brooks.

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