Pacific Mayor Leanne Guier admits she got a little emotional presenting the 2015 Pacific Citizen of the Year Award this past Saturday.
Guier honored Ann Smith for her efforts as president of Pacific Partnerships at the Citizen’s Appreciation Dinner in the Pacific Gymnasium. Smith and her organization put on the City’s annual events, such as Pacific Days, the City Hall Tree Lighting and the Earth Day event.
“One of the things brought up in one of the letters that nominated her really choked me up,” Guier said. “It mentioned how when she was battling throat cancer (four years ago) and going to chemotherapy, she only missed two days. I remember because I was her ride to chemotherapy (treatments). And it brought me back to how upbeat she was when she was going through that. She is cancer-free now.”
Smith, a founding member of Pacific Partnerships, was chosen Citizen of the Year by a committee made up of City Councilmember Stacy Oliveira, business owner Tracy Larson and Jeanne Fancher, last year’s Citizen of the Year and community journalist.
“She’s played a huge role in events like Pacific Days,” Guier said. “In fact, she takes a week off every year to put that on, then recuperates.”
Smith said her “legs went weak” when she found out she was being honored at the dinner.
“I was totally shocked,” she said. “I had no idea I was even nominated. I had no clue at all.”
Smith was honored with a plaque. She also will serve as grand marshal for the Pacific Days Parade.
“I joked around with her because she’ll have to work on organizing the event while she’s riding in the parade this year,” Guier said.
Smith said she’s already working on that problem.
“I may have to take my bike to the park, get set up and then bike real fast down to Alpac Elementary (School), where the parade starts, to get ready.”
Smith, who moved to Pacific from Puyallup in 2003, said her work with Pacific Partnerships is an important part of her appreciation for the community.
“Why I spend so much time (working) is Pacific is home to me,” she said.
“I love the small-town feeling, and anything I can to promote what a wonderful place Pacific is, I want to do that. I want to make it the best place to live.”
Pacific Days returns July 10-12. Earth Day cleanup is April 25.