FAIRBANKS, Alaska - The Westmark Gold room was host to family and friends gathering to honor two people that have made significant contributions to the betterment of the community. The event featured a heartfelt slide presentation summarizing the two's history in Alaska and with each other.
"Her high school English teacher, Mr. Meisner, instilled in her a love of Language and Literature and her foundation for theater and the arts was developed in both high school and college. Mike gained entrance to the new Air Force Academy where he graduated in the class of 1963, and was commissioned by the graduation speaker, President John F. Kennedy."
More than 40 years ago Peggy Ferguson moved to Alaska from Minnesota to teach at Ryan Middle School. Through her tenure in Alaska, she co-founded the Alaska Light Opera Theatre in Anchorage, and worked for several community theatre companies, such as the Fairbanks Light Opera Theatre and Fairbanks Shakespeare Theatre. For the past 17 years Peggy has been the Executive Director for the Fairbanks Drama Association and Children's Theatre, and she has been appointed by 5 Governors to the Alaska State Arts Council.
Mike Ferguson was born in Plainview Texas, but was immersed in the military when he attended high school at the Edwards Air Force Base in California. He eventually graduated from the Air Force Academy in Colorado, where he was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant. During the Vietnam War Mike flew 100 combat missions and commanded fighter units at all levels. Mike is no stranger to winning awards for appreciation, when he was named the 2016 Jim Messer award recipient for furthering military and community relations.
The award banquet culminated with the couple receiving their award made of a polished slab of jade. The inscription of Mike and Peggy Ferguson as "An entertaining couple dedicated to serving their community and country" is an accurate one, since they both have contributed in their own way. The Fergusons were then given time in the limelight where they performed a duet they wrote while dating, and Peggy led the entire crowd in a rendition of her favorite song, "Let It Shine."
After the banquet, Mike and Peggy commented on the attendees and their thoughts of their future in Fairbanks.
Mike Ferguson >> "As we looked around this room tonight, I could count the number of people that I really didn't know on one hand. The room was full of good close friends, people who, like us, are for the community and work to make it a better place to live, work, and play."
Peggy Ferguson >> "We're not going to move anywhere else, we're here in Fairbanks until we drop in our traces. And hopefully we're doing some good things with wonderful people, if we're lucky."