And the Diamond Award goes to…
December 4, 2013
By Christina Corrales-Toy
As Newcastle City Councilman John Dulcich approached the podium to present the first Diamond Award of the evening Nov. 13, the audience was quiet.
Moments later, the first sniffle emanated through the Prestwick Terrace, followed by another and another.
The tears were flowing by the time Dulcich finished his dedication, and not a seat was occupied as the audience stood to honor a man that meant so much to the Newcastle community.
That man was Dennis Yarnell, the popular owner of the Newcastle Shell station, who died Feb. 2.
The name of the award given to an individual who inspires and motivates others in the community was officially rebranded as the Dennis Yarnell Inspiration Award, and the first recipients were Yarnell’s wife Elizabeth Widseth and his son Trevor.
Widseth and Trevor joined Dulcich onstage as he described the work ethic, dedication and honesty that defined Yarnell’s personality and made him such a valued member of the community.
“We know your dad is watching you every day and is so proud of you,” Dulcich told Trevor.
The award was the first of seven given to outstanding community members in a special ceremony at The Golf Club at Newcastle.
The Newcastle Chamber of Commerce event switched to an evening affair, and attendees certainly took to the emphasis on glamour, dressing up in their finest cocktail attire.
After the audience had a moment to wipe their tears away, the ceremony continued with the presentation of the Business Award.
Paul Reynolds, sales and marketing director for Regency Newcastle, won the honor given to an owner or manager of a Newcastle business who donates time, energy or resources for community causes.
Jim Price, Newcastle Trails vice president and a member of the city’s Community Activities Commission, received the top honor in the community leadership category.
This award is given to an individual who demonstrates uncommon initiative and caring, setting an example in the community.
Lea Lo, the director of Cornerstone Studio, won the education award, given to an individual whose personal interest affects education and development of greater Newcastle-area students.
Coal Creek Family YMCA’s Akina Moscinski earned the customer service award, given to an employee that shows an uncommon enthusiasm and commitment that enriches the community.
Local youths Jon Fortescue and Madeline Dalton were co-winners of the evening’s youth award, given to a young person who demonstrates exceptional service and dedication to the community.
Fortescue, a Presidential Scholar, organized students to donate hundreds of volunteer hours to better the community, while Dalton maintains a healthy-eating blog geared to teens.
The recipient of a Diamond Award is chosen based on his or her contribution to the community of the greater Newcastle area. Winners and nominees demonstrate dedication, integrity and caring, with a passion for doing what needs to be done.