(Idaho Falls, ID) – Mayor Rebecca Casper presented the 2021 Idaho Falls State of the City Address last night and introduced the first-ever Mayor’s Choice Awards as part of the evening’s program.
The Mayor’s Choice Awards were created as a way to recognize outstanding residents, businesses, organizations, efforts or community figures for contributions to the city, noteworthy accomplishment, or other achievement. The awards are anticipated to be presented once a year, at the discretion of the Mayor, generally during or around the time of the annual State of the City address.
Seven awards were presented this year. Recipients included:
- Eastern Idaho Public Health (EIPH) – Outstanding Community Commitment.
- Idahoan Foods – Outstanding Philanthropic Contribution
- I.E. Productions – Outstanding Community Service
- David Oliver – Outstanding Community Spirit
- Heidi Van Campen Galbreth – Outstanding Community Spirit
- Idaho Falls Senior Citizens Center – Outstanding Humanitarian Service
- Nathan Apodaca – Good Vibes Award
“There are so many wonderful, caring businesses and people in this community that we wanted to find a way to recognize some of them for their remarkable contributions,” said Idaho Falls Mayor Rebecca Casper. “With all of the uncertainty and hard times this year, we just wanted to add a little more light by sharing some of the great and selfless acts of service, fun achievements and ways people have banded together to help during the pandemic. We are grateful to this year’s recipients and look forward to recognizing others in the future.”
Idahoan Foods was recognized for donating 10,000 cloth masks to local residents, in addition to donating thousands of packages of their signature “Buttery Homestyle Mashed Potatoes“ to residents and the Idaho Falls Community Food Basket.
“Idahoan Foods has been a proud member of the community for over 60 years, providing a livelihood for many people and working with local growers to purchase potatoes for our fresh-dried products,” said Drew Facer, President & CEO of Idahoan Foods. “We are honored and humbled to be in a position to delight and nourish lives, a purpose we are committed to as an organization.”
Gerri Rackow from EIPH accepted the award for that agency recognizing their ongoing handling of the Covid-19 pandemic and efforts to safeguard public health amidst the global coronavirus crisis. I.E. Production owners Chad Hammond and Gary Stevens accepted their award for their charitable donation of time and resources working with EIPH, the City of Idaho Falls, local charitable organizations and other entities during the pandemic.
David Oliver and Heidi Van Campen Galbreth were on hand from the Village neighborhood, which is located near the Idaho Falls Regional Airport. They accepted awards on behalf of their neighborhood for their unique and creative social media efforts to create community spirit and to encourage community connectedness. The Idaho Falls Senior Citizens Center was recognized for their efforts to maintain the Meals on Wheels program and to help seniors stay healthy and connected despite Covid-19 restrictions. Valisa Say from the Senior Center accepted on their behalf.
The final recipient of the night was Nathan Apodaca, more commonly known for his TikTok handle, Doggface208. Apodaca gained fame for his viral video riding his longboard near downtown while drinking juice and lip syncing to the Fleetwood Mac song “Dreams.”
His post has become the second most viewed video on TikTok and Apodaca himself was recognized as one of the most “googled” people of 2020. Apodaca continues to spread his “good vibes” across the internet and the world while filming his popular videos around Idaho Falls. Since his rise to fame he’s also spent time giving back to the Idaho Falls community, where he recently bought a home. Apodaca was unable to attend in person last night but will receive his award next week.
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Media Note: To schedule an interview with city staff or for more information, please contact City of Idaho Falls Public Information Officer Bud Cranor at 208-612-8306 or at [email protected].