Future First Citizen: Petrik honored at live community awards

July 2021 Posted in Community, People

By Brenna Wiegand

Whether playing jazz, concert music or marching in the band; on the soccer field or running cross country, Charlie Petrik always gravitates toward positions of leadership.

For this and other reasons, Petrik was recently named this year’s Silverton Future First Citizen.

“Every year, selecting a candidate for this recognition seems to get harder and harder, and this year was no exception,” Silverton Mayor Kyle Palmer said. “In a field of amazing finalists, Charlie’s passion and commitment to the needs of others, fostered by his parents and practiced over his life so far, was inspiring.”

Petrik grew up in a family where music was an everyday part of life. His father, Frank Petrik, is the band director at Silverton High School and music often filled the house, and Charlie was inspired.

He entered high school willing to try anything in search of what resonated.

“My mantra was never to say no to anything unless I couldn’t committ everything to it,” Petrik said.

Petrik took his commitment beyond school, teaching trumpet to kids and volunteering with the local food bank and other efforts to benefit those in need.

He also got involved on the civic level, serving on Silverton’s Environmental Management Committee, where he was particularly interested in making Silverton more bike friendly.

“I think a lot of change is made at the local level,” he said. “…it was super meaningful to me to see the process; it was definitely the favorite thing I’ve done this year.

“It’s always hard to motivate yourself to get up and do those things but as soon as they’re done and as soon as you realize what you’ve accomplished and what you’ve given to the community, it’s the best.

“It’s great to get recognized for everything I do in the community, but it’s what I’ve done leading up to it,” he said. “Anything that I could lead in was something I enjoyed;  it just feels good being able to make a direct impact on people.

“I am among other very qualified candidates and I know all of them personally so… just respect them as well.”

A-student and class president the last three years, Petrik was also team captain in cross country and soccer and a section leader in the concert band. He’s also a swim team member and YMCA lifeguard.

This fall Petrik heads to the University of Oregon to study environmental science, but his career path remains unwritten.

“I want to be a leader going forward and that’s all I can really say about that,” Petrik said. “My joke is that I’m going to go to U of O and – I really like sculpting – pick up a pottery degree.”

It’s a lot to be involved in at one time, and Petrik is only half joking when he says the secret to his success is anxiety.

“I think I’ve always had a level of anxious motivation to me and so when my stuff’s not done that’s the only thing I can think about and the only thing that I want to get done I think it’s just how I’m wired.

“I haven’t tried to stop it yet; it hasn’t become a problem,” he said. “When it does, then I’ll address it but for right now it’s working for me,” he said.

50th Anniversary Silverton First Citizen Awards
Mt. Angel Festhalle, 500 Wilco Hwy, NE

July 31, 6:15 p.m.

First Citizen – Glen Damewood
Judy Schmidt Lifetime Achievement Award – Chuck White
Distinguished Service – Sarah DeSantis
Business of the Year – Country Financial, The Satern Agency
Service by Club/Group – We All Dine in Silverton

Tickets: $25 at silvertonchamber.org or 503-873-5615

Profiles in the Aug. 1 edition of Our Town

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