Downtown Camas businesses are honored

Companies, chamber and a church receive accolades

The owners of Universal Mixed Martial Arts have been recognized for transforming a building in downtown Camas.

Mel and Cherri Locke received the “Best Downtown Improvement” interior and exterior honors during the Downtown Camas Association annual awards ceremony Wednesday night, at Journey Community Church.

The recognition is the result of the Lockes purchasing and renovating the 4,900 square foot building at 217 N.E. Fourth Ave. Interior improvements included framing bathrooms, installing sheet rock and replacing the ceiling, roof and flooring. New paint was added — inside and out. Five skylights remained, and two more were added.

The windows in the front of the building were replaced, and the doors located to the left of the main entrance were removed. The renovated space features heating and air conditioning, nearly wall-to-wall mats, three training areas and two ADA compliant bathrooms with shower stalls. There are also two changing rooms, a child’s play area and a retail store.

Camas Antiques earned the “Outstanding Window Display” award, while Lily Atelier and Runyan’s Jewelers received honorable mention recognition.

DCA Board President Caroline Mercury received the “Creative Local Marketing” award, for coordinating a sale of paper mill artifacts. The event raised nearly $15,000 for the DCA, with collaboration from Georgia-Pacific, Camas Antiques, the DCA and the community.

The Camas-Washougal Chamber of Commerce earned an honorable mention for its organization and promotion of Camas Days, maps and directories. The chamber also provides customer service, publicity campaigns and press releases.

Camas Bike and Sport received the “Putting Camas on the Map” award, in recognition of its efforts to start bike race teams and bring races to the local area. Ed and Katina Fischer got youth involved and created events to bring people to town. They and their staff also provide ski and snowboard wax, tune and repair services.

Ed Fischer described the 60 members of the shop race team as “mobile billboards” for the business and Camas.

“They should be applauded for their support and loyalty,” he said. “We had a race in July at Portland International Raceway, and we had 37 entries from the team. I had a Portlander from another team come up to me and say in regards to the quantity of our jerseys on the course, ‘What have you done here? I did not know there were this many people in Camas.'”

Lori Reed received an honorable mention for donating her time and talent to create graphics for local events.

Liberty Theatre owner Rand Thornsley earned the “Change is Good” award for the remodel of the Granada Theatre and for providing independent and kid-friendly films.

Universal Martial Arts received the honorable mention in that category for bringing more people to town daily and providing a healthy place for people to come together.

Sharon Ballard and Marquita Call were presented with the “Something New in Camas” award for expanding their art offerings and providing live music during the First Friday festivities at Ballard & Call. They also brought Jimmie Rodgers back for concerts this year, and they have participated in outreach efforts to tell people in surrounding communities about downtown Camas.

Jodi Vaughan, from Caffe Piccolo, received the “Outstanding Customer Service” award, while Dennis Kinsey, of Birch Street Uptown Lounge, and Todd and Tania Moravitz, of Nuestra Mesa, were tied of honorable mention.

Journey Community Church earned the “Downtown Spirit” award by providing kids activities and serving food and beverages during First Friday events; and helping with the downtown Earth Day clean up by volunteering and feeding the crowd. The church also provided music at the car show and offered help with charity events such as Girls Night Out and the benefit concert and auction for Belle Mathieu.

Monique Quaranta received an honorable mention for her volunteer efforts, including organizing the Girls Night Out agenda and coordinating a recent direct mailer.

For more information about the DCA, contact Program Coordinator Brenda Schallberger at 216-7378 or or visit