2012 Annual Awards Luncheon

2012 Annual Awards Luncheon

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Accepting awards are (from left) Mary Stewart Adams, Frank Foster, Robin McCarty (co-owner of Kilwin's) and Kimberly Leis, representing Walgreens.

A couple dozen guests helped to honor Emmet County businesses and individuals on April 23, during the Outdoor Lighting Forum's ninth annual awards luncheon, held at the City Park Grill in Petoskey.

Featured speaker was state Rep. Frank Foster, 107th District, who was also awarded for his efforts to pass legislation creating a "Dark Sky Coast" on over 22,000 acres in Northwest Emmet County. The Coast would complement the International Dark Sky Park at the Headlands, in that same region.

Other honorees included Kilwin's Chocolate Kitchen in Petoskey and Walgreen's north in Petoskey. Additionally, Dark Sky Park Program Director Mary Stewart Adams, who has also been involved with OLF and its mission, was given a special award recognizing her dedication and passion for protecting the night sky and telling the stories of the stars, thereby encouraging further protection of this spectacular Northern Michigan resource.

The awards given are named the Gary R. Williams Excellence in Outdoor Lighting Awards, in honor of a local resident who worked to educate the public on how to mitigate light pollution.

More pictures of the luncheon can be found below.

Kilwin's Chocolate Kitchen

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Robin McCarty, co-owner of Kilwin's Chocolate Kitchen in Petoskey, accepts the award on behalf of her and her husband, Don. Mary Lou Tanton, OLF Founder, is presenting the award.

Walgreen's north in Petoskey

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Representing Walgreen's North in Petoskey was Kimberly Leis, assistant manager. Presenting the award is OLF founder Mary Lou Tanton.

Mary Stewart Adams

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Tom Bailey, executive director of the Little Traverse Conservancy, awards Mary Stewart Adams.

Frank Foster

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Rep. Frank Foster is awarded by Mary Stewart Adams.

Awards luncheon details (press release)

State Rep. Frank Foster, R-Petoskey, will speak at the Ninth Annual Outdoor Lighting Forum Awards Luncheon on Monday, April 23, 2012, at City Park Grill, Petoskey. The event takes place from noon to 1 p.m. Foster is the Representative for the 107th District, which includes Petoskey.

The public is invited to attend to show their appreciation of the beautiful skies over Northern Michigan, and to honor local businesses that have taken steps to protect the night sky environment through conscientious choices in outdoor lighting. RSVP required to Mary Stewart Adams at starmare.adams@gmail.com.

The luncheon is held each year during Global Astronomy Month and is coordinated through the International Dark Sky Association in cooperation with dark sky communities around the world. Locally, this year offers a great deal to celebrate. Since the last luncheon, Emmet County is now home to one of only seven International Dark Sky Parks in the U.S.

The designation was secured with the strong support of OLF Chairperson Mary Lou Tanton and the leadership initiative of OLF board member Mary Stewart Adams. Further, the designation inspired Rep. Foster to sponsor legislation to protect an additional 22,000 acres of state land in the vicinity of the Headlands from light pollution, known as the "Dark Sky Coast."

The OLF will honor Foster at this year's luncheon, where he will speak about the progress of House Bill 5414, the Dark Sky Coast bill, which is now wending its way to the Senate. Other honorees include Kilwin's Chocolate Kitchen, and Walgreen's, US-31, both in Petoskey.

Lunch is on your own from the limited menu provided. The luncheon will also include a 10-minute video showing of Lucianne Walkowicz TED presentation in Phoenix on light pollution: "Look Up For a Change." TED is an international non-profit organization focusing on scholarly research and sharing of ideas in technology, entertainment and design, and their programs enjoy wide circulation on the Internet.