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Chamber honors Visconti’s, Land Trust and Wilf and Kathy Woods

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On Thursday, Wilfred and Kathy Woods received the third annual Legacy Award for their support of regional arts and business and civic causes. See a video tribute here.

WENATCHEE — More than 500 local business folks on Thursday celebrated life and work in the Wenatchee Valley by honoring one of the area’s largest restaurant groups, one of its fastest growing ag product companies, two of its most respected nonprofits and a local couple devoted to promotion of the arts.

At its annual banquet, the Wenatchee Valley Chamber of Commerce named Visconti’s Restaurants, owned by Dan Carr and Candy Mecham, as Business of the Year and the Chelan-Douglas Land Trust as Nonprofit of the Year.

The Chamber also presented the new Cornerstone Award, which recognizes civic commitment, to apple-snack producer Crunch Pak and the nonprofit Junior Service League of Wenatchee.

The night’s ceremonies were capped with presentation of the third annual Legacy Award, sponsored by the Chamber and Wenatchee Valley Business World, to Wilfred and Kathy Woods for their patronage of local arts and leadership in business and civic causes. The couple helped run the Wenatchee World for more than 60 years.

We’re gathering tonight to celebrate our community and what makes us special,” Shiloh Schauer, the Chamber’s executive director, said to a packed ballroom at the Wenatchee Convention Center.

Following in that “spirit of uniqueness,” Schauer and master of ceremonies Bill Dobbins, general manager of the Douglas County PUD, introduced the debut of two videos on living in the Wenatchee Valley. “We Are Wenatchee,” produced by Voortex Productions, presented inspirational scenes of local outdoor activities and work life. “What Is Skiing?”, produced by North 40 Productions, was a preview of “Lifted,” a film now in production on the history of Mission Ridge Ski & Board Resort.

The Visconti’s restaurant group, which includes Italian-themed restaurants in Wenatchee and Leavenworth, earned the top business honor because “it best exemplifies hard work and community support,” said Schauer. The seven-restaurant group employs more than 200 workers.

The Chelan-Douglas Land Trust was named Nonprofit of the Year “for projects that will impact our lives 70, 80, 100 years into the future,” said Schauer. Bob Bugert, the group’s executive director, accepted the award. Most recently, the Land Trust raised $8 million to secure property in the Wenatchee Foothills for recreation, wildlife preservation and habitat conservation.

Crunch Pak and the Junior Service League received Cornerstone Awards, said Schauer, because “they display the characteristics and values we hold most dear in our community.” She praised both for their commitment to civic projects and dedication to family causes.

Reach Mike Irwin at 509-665-1179 or . Read his blog Everyday Business or follow him on Twitter at @MikeIrwinWW.

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