The Saline Area Chamber of Commerce and City of Saline paid tribute to Saline's most dedicated citizens at the Saline Salutes banquet, Friday, at EHM Senior Solutions. About 100 people attended the event.
Citizen of the Year went to David and Priscilla Olsen, known for their community volunteerism. The Olsens are snowbirds and couldn't attend because they'd previously committed to attend a wedding. Gretchen Waters spoke on behalf of the Olsens and read a letter from David Olsen.
The Lifetime Achievement award was presented to David Rhoads, the retired businessman and former Saline City Council member who was involved in countless initiatives and efforts in the Saline community. He was introduced by Diane Mukkala.
Police Chief Jerrod Hart introduced the First Responders Award honorees, officer Don Lupi and dispatcher Terry Seames from the Saline Police Department, and officer Robert Cole and Sgt. Matthew Hornbeck of the Pittsfield Police Department. They were honored for police work that led to the rescue of a lost and distressed woman on one of the most frigid days of the year last year.
The Orrin Parson's Distinguished Veteran Award was presented to World War II Veteran Carl Weller - who survived a German POW camp and a long, hard march to freedom. Weller went on to found Weller's in Saline - one of the community's most photographed locations.
Captain Todd Osborne Junior, of the Michigan Army National Guard, was honored with the Hometown Hero Active Duty Award. Osborne, a former school teacher, flies a Chinook out of Selfridge. He was won of the pilots who flew over Hornet Stadium before a football game last fall.
Alex Bargo, a Saline High School senior, won the Youth of the Year Award. Bargo was honored for the work he's done with Saline Celtic Festival.