Longtime Montesano resident Jack Thomas has been honored by the Montesano Chamber of Commerce as its Citizen of the Year.
Chamber President Dennis Brumbaugh said the award takes input from the city, and Thomas has been on the list before. “He’s the kind of guy who would not want it. I nominated him a couple years ago and he got mad at me,” Brumbaugh recalled with a laugh.
Thomas has been active in the community, working with schools for more than a decade and helping his church to raise more than $100,000 to build a chapel and orphanage in war-torn Uganda, personally visiting with his wife. He also started the local over 30 basketball league.
“First it was the over 30 basketball league, then the over 40, now he’s over 60 and he’s still playing basketball. That’s just the kind of guy he is,” Brumbaugh said.
This year seemed especially important to honor Thomas because over the past four months he has been battling cancer, Brumbaugh added.
The Chamber also recognized Avon representative Alice Hutchison as the Business of the Year, and the Montesano Senior Center selected two volunteer cooks, Donna Schurr, and Chris Brogan, as its Volunteers of the Year. Thomas was too ill to attend a banquet for the honorees, but is reportedly doing well.