Travel Lane County and the Florence Area Chamber of Commerce have announced
that Florence resident Mike Bones has been selected as the recipient of the 2017 Tourism Ambassador Award for Florence.
Bones has been a volunteer in the community for decades and has assisted in a variety of capacities at many local nonprofit organizations.
He is perhaps best known for his years of work as a Chamber Ambassador and for his horticulture work as a member of the Siuslaw Chapter of the American Rhododendron Society.
In the nomination letter sent to Travel Lane County, Chamber Board Member Annette Foglio was effusive in praising Bones.
“Mike’s list of accomplishments and contributions in our city would require what his wife appropriately labels ‘a huge wheelbarrow’ to adequately hold his list,” Foglio said.
“In addition to his ongoing years of service in the role of an ambassador to our city, Mike has served on numerous boards and helped our community in a variety of ways.”
Bones was selected as the 2005 Florence First Citizen, a title granted to an individual who has given selflessly to the community, based on community involvement, leadership and overall impact.
When asked about this latest recognition, Bones was hesitant to accept any praise.
“It’s a very humbling and great honor to have been chosen. I was raised in this caring community. Giving back by volunteering is a way to show that appreciation, besides making me just plain feel good,” he said.
Bones has been volunteering for so long that his memories of Florence are extensive. He has some particularly memorable stories.
“It’s extremely difficult choosing just one favorite memory from 50 years of volunteering, but my first thought is about helping Kaylee Graham with Power of Florence by working with the American Legion to clean up the sidewalk across from the Veteran’s Memorial Wall,” he said.
Typically, Bones has taken the latest praise and directed it towards encouraging others to also volunteer.
“Giving back and helping others is a very rewarding experience in itself, besides helping our community look good and prosper,” Bones said. “There are many opportunities for everyone to volunteer in our community. Do your part, volunteer.”