Chamber names Citizen of the Year

SARANAC LAKE - The Saranac Lake Area Chamber of Commerce hosted its 88th Annual Meeting June 17 at Hohmeyer's Lake Clear Lodge.

Three local women were honored at the event for a trio of awards - Citizen of the Year, Volunteer of the Year and Business of the Year.

Barbara Martin of the Women's Civic Chamber took home the coveted designation of Citizen of the Year. Chamber Executive Director Sylvie Nelson said Martin is a shining example of what the award is all about.

"Her life has been dedicated to volunteering for causes she deems important," Nelson said.

"We're very glad to be naming Barbara Martin as Citizen of the Year," she added. "The Citizen of the Year is chosen by past awardees, they get together at a luncheon and review nominations brought forward by the community. And then they discuss who's best to receive this award, which is actually one of the most prestigious awards in Saranac Lake."

Martin was moved by her designation as Citizen of the Year.

"I was flabbergasted," she said. "It's such an honor, it was indescribable." Nelson said the selection committee cited Martin for her past stints as Women's Civic Chamber President, Vice President, Corresponding Secretary and chair of the board. She's also organized the July 4th Kiddie Parade for nearly a decade.

Martin hopes the award will encourage other community members to serve. "Hopefully it inspires more people to actually volunteer their time," she said. "Saranac Lake is just such a great place to live in and the chamber keeping something like this alive for as long as they have, I guess it's a testament to it because yearly they give this away so there's so many people out there who do volunteering."

Gay Relyea picked up the award for Business of the Year. She owns Mountain Gift & Powder on Broadway in Saranac Lake.

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