The Lebanon of Commerce honored businesses and named Dr. Paula Crone as business leader of the year at the annual Distinguished Service Awards on March 12.
“About five years ago, a quiet comet hit down in the form of a gracious lady who had dreamed of being a ‘Marcus Welby’ kind of doctor,” said Rick Petersen of Crone, dean of Western University of Health Sciences. “She brought Lebanon a new dream.”
Through her leadership, Lebanon’s medical school — and therefore Lebanon itself — has become internationally recognized. Students and faculty have integrated into the community, becoming partners in every sense of the word, Petersen said.
“One thinks of Dr. Paula Crone when you consider the phrase, ‘Leads by example,’” he said. “That she does.”
Crone is highly respected by her peers, and has allowed the Lebanon community to share her dream and love for the College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific-Northwest, Petersen said.
“Things in Lebanon have really changed since this lady came to town,” he said.
Mega Foods won the 2012 Large Business of the Year award for its involvement in the community.
“Whenever a nonprofit organization in Lebanon plans any kind of fundraising event around food, Mega Foods is the first one they call and the first one to step up and help,” Petersen said.
The grocery store is a friend to the community through donations, discounts and support, he said.
“Mega Foods leaves a big footprint in our city,” he said.
Gateway Imprints was honored as 2012 Small Business of the Year for its quick response to a need, Petersen said.
“It is quick to lend a hand to any Lebanon organization that asks,” he said. “They truly demonstrate community spirit with countless volunteer hours.”
Samaritan Lebanon Community Hospital Auxiliary won the Nonprofit Organization for 2012, and $500 donation that came with it.
“This talented contingent of faithful volunteers of the auxiliary have donated more than 18,000 hours of their own time to the hospital throughout 2012,” Petersen said.
Volunteers have raised $903,236 since 1985, not counting the recent pledge of $200,000 for the new healing garden on the Samaritan Health Sciences Campus, he said.
“Our hospital, our clinics and our community all benefit from the hard work of these tireless auxiliary members,” Petersen said.
Partners for Progress won for 2012 Outstanding Community Group for making Lebanon a better place to live and work, Petersen said.
“This group has taken on projects such as Concerts in the Park, Holidays in the Park, and did a stellar job in creating Lebanon’s (Downtown) Farmers Market, one of the best in the valley,” he said.
Volunteers work to enhance economic development, get grants to improve storefronts, and work with local business owners to find out what they can do to help, Petersen said.