ESCANABA, Mich. (WJMN) – Multiple Michigan lawmakers and dozens of community members were in attendance on Thursday as Tracey Tippett was awarded the title of 2022 UP Veteran of the Year at a ceremony at the UP State Fair. Tippett, who lives in Champion, served in the Marine Corps from 1987-1992.

Tippett remains active in the local military community as a life member of the Marine Corps League, a member of American Legion Post 114, a board of trustees member for the Marquette County Veterans Alliance, and secretary of the Marquette Veterans Affairs Committee. Tippett also serves as the coordinator for Toys for Tots in Marquette County.

“It’s kind of like a ‘pinch me’ moment,” Tippett said. “I’m not used to all the attention or anything. It’s like I say, I don’t do this for the awards or anything like that. I do it because the need is great, and to be able to help out and do what I can in the community and our veterans’ organization. That’s what counts and that’s what matters.”

As part of Thursday’s ceremony, Tippett received a special tribute award from Governor Gretchen Whitmer on behalf of the State of Michigan, recognizing Tippett’s community service and time spent volunteering at the Jacobetti Veteran Home, UP 200, local parades, and much more.

Other lawmakers in attendance to support Tippett included Attorney General Dana Nessel, State Senator Ed McBroom, Congressman Jack Bergman, and State Representatives Beau LaFave and Sara Cambensy. Cambensy says the ceremony is an important event each year for the community to come together to show support for the recipient, especially this year as Tippett becomes the first woman to receive the award.

“This is just one chance in many that we come together to honor them,” Cambensy said. “But to look out in the crowd and just see members that they serve with, different branches coming together, and really it’s a united force that’s very, very strong. It’s an honor for us to make sure that we truly honor them for their service to our country and for our freedom.”

The UP State Fair is set to run through Sunday, August 21. You can find a full schedule of events happening the rest of the week here.