I offer heartiest congratulations to the grand marshals of the Arnolds Park 125th Anniversary parade held last Sunday afternoon. No people deserved the honor more than Toby Shine, Larry Stoller, Sue Richter and Ron Morocco. These four people put together a fantastic group of volunteers who spent six weeks or more raising money to save the amusement park back in 1999. They raised hundreds of thousands of dollars so we can enjoy the family-friendly park today. It was going to be sold, torn down and condos built on the site. It was a remarkable time when the entire Lakes Region became a community united with one purpose ... to save the park. I was a newspaper editor at that time and remember covering so many of the stories that evolved during that time frame. I remember reading messages from people around the world as they donated to the cause. I am so delighted that I now have grandchildren who enjoy the amusement park as much as I and their parents did as children. Thanks again to Toby, Larry, Sue and Ron on a job well done preserving a legacy for all of us!
Brent Wyman celebrated his 50th birthday in a big way on Monday. His delicious donuts were sold at a bargain price of $.50 each. Proceeds from the day at his business, Spudnuts in Okoboji, were divided between the Shayla Bee Fund and the Downtown Church. His melt-in-your-mouth donuts are made with potato flour. Always a hit at the Clay County Fair, I think it was about three years ago that Brent and his family opened up Spudnuts up here in the Lakes Region, much to the dismay of my waistline but to the total delight of my tastebuds! Happy birthday Brent!
Greg Stevens of Milford has been on a trip to Dallas this week. While that may not, at fairest glance, seen worthy of mention, this trip marks the end of an awesome career. It is his final trip as a debate coach. The highly honored mullti-award winning coach's retirement is official when he steps off the plane with Okoboji senior Brandie Bushee, Spirit Lake senior Rebecca Owens and Okoboji sophomore Andrew Dunn. These students competed in the National Speech & Debate Association's National Competition June 13-19. Stevens has coached an amazing 40 students to Nationals over the years as debate coach at Okoboji and later Okoboji/Spirit Lake. Five of those landed in the top 20 nationally. Thank you Greg for all your guidance, wisdom and dedication to our youth. You have made and will continue to make a significant difference in the lives of those around you. Enjoy your retirement; you deserve and have certainly earned it!
There was a fun party after opening night at the Okoboji Summer Theatre on Tuesday. Dan and Greg Tritle, Tim Schumacher and Greg Forney comprise the band that plays while we all munch on goodies and swallow a beverage or two. There is dancing and great socializing with the Stephens College students as well as staff and guest actors/directors. The students really get into the dancing after a while and a fun time was had by all.
I send out my heartiest congratulations to Marsha Swanson. She was chosen as the Okoboji Summer Theatre Woman of the Year. The award recognizes exemplary support, promotion, financial generosity and individual volunteerism for the arts and culture in the Iowa Great Lakes Region. Marsha has spent countless hours as co-president (five years) of the OST Association. She enhances all of our entertainment experiences as a member of the Spirit of Harmony Sweet Adeline Chorus. She is tireless in her promotion of OST and other cultural adventures. She is most deserving of the award!!!
If you are having special guests or celebrations and events this summer, let me know. We all like to know what is going on and who is coming to visit. My phone number is 712-320-2850 or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks!