• Saline Salutes Honorees

    SALINE, MI. – The Saline Area Chamber of Commerce today announced the individuals who have been selected to be honored at this year’s “Saline Salutes” Citizenship awards. They are:

    Citizen of the Year – Heather Feldkamp

    Lifetime Achievement – Linda Edwards-Brown

    First Responders – Dustin Brighton, Paul Damon, Dan Olsen, and Gary Polenz

    Veteran of the Year – Kathryn Melcher

    Youth of the Year – Tess Carichner


    Heather Feldkamp (Citizen of the Year) is a well-known face in the Saline area. Currently employed at Evangelical Homes of Michigan she presents an impressive history of volunteer activities in the Saline Community including Past President of the Chamber’s Board of Directors. Linda Edwards-Brown (Lifetime Achievement), is currently a Trustee on the Pittsfield Township Board has an equally impressive resume including social work social justice involvement, and teaching. She also serves on many other boards affiliated with these efforts.

    Dustin Brighton, Paul Damon, Dan Olson, and Gary Polenz (First Responders) are all Pittsfield Firefighters and are being recognized for their lengthy and extensive outreach efforts to work with and help the community understand the challenges of autism. Kate Melcher (Veteran of the Year) is a retired U.S. Army Captain and Apache Helicopter pilot with 20 years of experience. Along with her extensive military background she is also being recognized for her work with the VA Hospital and the Fisher House concept for helping veterans and their families with accommodations during their stay at the Hospital.

    Finally, Tess Carichner (Youth of the Year) will be honored at the “Saline Salutes” ceremony. She was selected by the Youth Council at Saline High School from a list of eleven candidates. Currently in her junior year, Tess is being honored for accomplishments in the areas of academics, athletics, extracurricular activities including many leadership roles, and outstanding volunteer service.

    According to Larry Osterling, Executive Director at the Saline Area Chamber of Commerce, “We had an extensive list of nominees this year and many qualified people to sort through. This was not an easy decision for the Selection Committee to make, but we’re really pleased with our slate of awardees. It’s an impressive group and indicative of what great people we have working in our community every day!”

    The “Saline Salutes” awardees will be formally honored at a special dinner awards ceremony on Friday, April 17th at the Lake Forest Golf Club, 3110 West Ellsworth Rd., Ann Arbor, Mi. 48103. The event is open to the public and starts at 5:30 p.m., dinner at 6:15 p.m., and program from 7:00 – 8:00 p.m. To avoid a late fee, reservations for this event should be made by Monday April 13th and can be made either online through the Chamber’s website (www.salinechamber.org) or by calling the Chamber Office direct at (734) 429-4494. Cost is $22/individual, $40/couple, and student rate of $10/person. Multiple sponsorships are still available for this high-visibility event and these inquiries should be directed to the Chamber Office.

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