Dianne Atwood has been making Saline kids’ holidays a little brighter for more than 15 years.
At Thursday night’s Business Enterprise Awards, held at Stonebridge Golf Club, Atwood was presented with the Saline Area Chamber of Commerce’s 2012 Chamber Initiative Award.
“This is not an annual award but one in which the chamber recognizes someone who has gone above and beyond,” said Art Trapp, Executive Director of the Saline Area Chamber of Commerce. “Dianne fits that award to the tee.”
Atwood, former manager of Carol’s Hallmark store, and members of the Saline Shopping Center founded an event that was held prior to the holiday parade every year. The “pre-parade” has morphed into what is now known as the Treasure Trail to Santa, which is celebrating its 15th anniversary this year. Each year, the event brings more than 300 kids and their families through the Busch’s shopping center to pick up goodies, have fun and meet Santa Claus.
Atwood and Laurie Toarmina also helped started the Eggstravaganza egg hunt that has taken place near Easter the last 11 years. Kids hop along through a trail of local businesses and collect eggs. At the end, they can win gift baskets filled with prizes from local businesses.
Atwood was honored by State Rep. Mark Ouimet, U.S. Rep. Tim Walberg and the City of Saline. Ouimet presented her with a proclamation that was read into the state record.
“On behalf of State Sen. Randy Richardville, myself, and Gov. Snyder, we wanted to present (the proclamation) to you and thank you for making Saline a little better place to live each day,” Ouimet said.
Walberg heaped praise on the chamber’s unsung hero.
“If she was fully sung about, it would make such a noise that it would probably be against some ordinance,” Walberg said. “I like staying power. And when you see people with staying power do something simply because they want to make a difference, that is huge. Thank you for exhibiting that spirit, that commitment to this community, that drive to stay involved and make an impact.”
Atwood took the podium and put out a call for volunteers to help with the Eggstravaganza.
During the banquet, the chamber also presented the annual Business Enterprise Awards to Stonebridge Golf Club and Iott Insurance.
Chamber President Karen Ragland, owner of Design Hub, thanked Stonebridge Golf Club, Iott Insurance and Atwood, as well as past winners of the Business Enterprise Awards.
“Thank you again for everything you’ve done to make Saline a great place to live, work and play,” Ragland said.