Wearing dresses and ties, many notable people of Lake County came out to the Elks Lodge on Saturday, Jan. 19 to celebrate the 67th annual Lake County Chamber of Commerce Awards Gala. The elegant scene was laid out in lovely form by the chamber’s interim Exec. Dir. Jennie Steward. As Susie Cahill played background piano, members of the community socialized and viewed over the multitude of raffle items that the Chamber had arranged on tables.
Called in as a last minute replacement for ailing John Bogardus, Bob Pardee stepped up to emcee the event and lead the collected audience of around a hundred in a celebration of how local businesses, and local relationship enhance all of the county’s lives. “What makes businesses successful is this right here,” he said. “When people connect with each other and choose to shop local.”
After his introduction and praise of the events sponsors, Pacific Power and Century Link, he turned the microphone over to Father Ray Hopp. Rev. Hopp gave an extremely charming invocation, from a poem he wrote comparing the community to a covey of quail needing each other to stay warm in the winter.
While the guests ate their meals of prime rib and baked potatoes, the guest speaker of the evening, Patty Barnhart, spoke to them. In the area with her husband for the past 30 years, she spoke of their establishing of a guest ranch, her work with the county’s juvenile corrections department and, at length, of the three books of short stories that she has written. Above all, with a public reading and her speech she stressed the importance she felt to the longevity of “our work, our ranches and our way of life.”
With that, the awards were handed out, with former Chamber of Commerce Pres. Linda Conroy giving out the Presidential award. Of the recipients, she said, “I would like to honor three different organizations that have done much in this community.” To that effect, she bestowed the awards on the Soroptimists Club, the Rotary Club and the Lions Club, received by Carol Parker, Don Liddycoat and Doug Dollarhide, respectively.
Newly elected Chamber Pres. Aimee Kentzley took to the stage and formerly honored Conroy for the multitudes of services she provides and gave a present of her own to thank her for all the time donated to the Chamber and the county.