Awards Presented at Ferndale Elks Recognize City’s Best
(Crystal A. Proxmire, Nov. 11, 2018)
Ferndale, MI – Each Year Ferndale Elks hosts a ceremony to honor those who serve the community as volunteers and as city staff. Law and Order Night thanks all who serve Ferndale, including the Firefighter of the Year and Police Officer of the Year.
Chairperson of the Government and Public Relations Committee for the Elks Oscar Renautt introduced those presenting the awards. He shared a bit about the Lodge and it’s history in Ferndale.
“In a few years we will celebrate the 90th anniversary of the establishment of our lodge in this very building. Which makes us one of the oldest continually operating social clubs (and bars) in Ferndale,” Renautt said. “Over the years we have contributed over 5 million dollars to the community through charity and scholarships. Our membership represents all social slices of Ferndale society. We are a non-political and nonsectarian social club accepting members of all races, genders, and sexual orientations. Representing just under 4% of Ferndale’s population. We are one of the premier gold star lodges in the state in growth and accomplishments. Our lodge is used as a model and example for other lodges in our state and perhaps in the country.
“But it is no accident that we are located in Ferndale, the city that is another big and shiny example, and a model of excellence in our region. Ferndale is the epicenter of everything progressive, our policies and ordinances are one of most progressive in our state. Ferndale is a trendsetter in our region and there are many reasons for it – our residential and economic growth, our premier social and civil services, our vibrant community, our excellent city ratings, and no doubt, our progressive and forward-thinking government body.
“But one of the most important ingredients in this successful formula is you, the city employees. Our police. First responders. Firefighters. D.P.W. Court and City Clerks! Day or night, summer or winter, heat or cold, you are here to move our city forward. You are the driving force behind our successes. And tonight is your night! We are here to celebrate you and your accomplishments, your skills, your professionalism, and your dedication to our city!”
Jacob Fields was recognized as Police Officer of the Year and Firefighter of the Year is Sgt. Dennis Barr. Both were honored for their passion for their work and in helping to train others on the job.
Ilyssa Beltzman is a probation officer who works for sobriety court. She makes the time to care and follow up diligently with those she is in charge of not only monitoring, but helping them to learn and grow as they take improve their lives with recovery.
Another kind soul that was honored at Law and Order night was Senior of the Year Kathy Stuart. She is the first to step up and help others, and was described as being a nurturing caretaker at heart.
Citizen of the year is Gerald Brisson whose life revolves around giving back. He’s the CEO of Gleaners Food Bank and he’s helped various nonprofits with the tools to be better at fundraising, and his entire family is engaged in the community. “He is passionate about nutrition and feeding people,” said Mayor Dan Martin who presented him with the award.
Zachary Hreha was recognized as DPW Employee of the Year for all the hard work he puts in keeping the city spruced up, and Colin Moran of the Code Enforcement Department is City Hall Employee of the Year. In addition to working hard, Moran has become the face of Code Enforcement for the City, even becoming a meme for the sake of well-trimmed grass.
The light-hearted event was full of jokes and accolades, plus food and a chance for City Employees to mingle and feel good about the work they do. As Renautt said “on behalf of the Ferndale Elks, please accept our gratitude, our deep-hearted thank you for your efforts to be the best at what you do, for your accomplishments and your victories for our city!”
Congrats to the winners:
Court Employee of the Year: Ilyssa Beltzman
D.P.W. Employee of the Year: Zachary Hreha
City Hall Employee of the Year: Colin Moran
Firefighter of the Year: Stg. Dennis Barr
Police Officer of the Year: Jacob Fields
Senior Citizen of the Year: Kathy Stuart
Citizen of the Year: Gerald Brisson