MLPS Buoy awards make ‘big splash’ in Lakehills
By Carol Smith
The first annual Medina Lake Preservation Society
(MLPS) 2009 Buoy Awards were presented at The Lakehills Civic Center on
Saturday, Nov. 14.
The MLPS Board of Directors created the Buoy Awards to recognize individuals and teams (couples) who have exhibited exceptional community volunteerism effort, community leadership and-or land donations for community buildings. These people, who make positive contributions to keep the community “afloat,” can be considered “Buoys.” Hi Energy Realty of Lakehills served as major sponsor for the event.
Over 100 people attended, including Krista Gebbia, executive director of Preservation Texas, Dave Demers, president of the Bandera Community Foundation and Annalisa Peace, executive director of the Edwards Aquifer Guardians Association. Gebbia spoke about the importance of preserving communities and their historical significance for future generations.
Roberto Pachecano, media relations chairman for the MLPS, opened the ceremonies by thanking the LakePlex communities of Mico, Rio Medina, Quihi, Lakehills and Pipe Creek for believing in the goals and objectives of the society. “The MLPS has taken the initiative to start an open dialogue among our communities,” he said.
Absentee and Team Awardees
Two recipients of Buoy Awards from Mico could not attend the ceremony due to ill health, Alton Seekatz and Bea Knight.
Seekatz, who will be 100 years old in December, received his Buoy for donating the land for both the heliport and the Mico VFD base station. Seekatz was active in the Mico VFD and attended church at Mico’s St. Francis Catholic Chapel, which sits on land donated by his father, Frank Seekatz. Seekatz’s longtime friend and neighbor, Ann Dale, accepted the award on his behalf.
Knight was honored for having devoted countless volunteer hours in various positions with the Mico VFD. She also ran the flea market and thrift store at the annual Mico VFD Barbecue Fundraiser, for over 20 years. Even after health problems prohibited her from attending, she called people to remind them of meetings and special events. Robert Pachecano accepted her award.
Barbara Engel and Bob Caswell received a team Buoy Award, for their creation of and continuing work with the Medina Lake Cajun Festival and Great Gumbo Cook-off.
“We don’t look for any type of recognition for what we do,” said Engel, “but we really enjoyed and appreciated the Buoy Award. The event was so well done.”
The largest annual fundraiser for the Medina Lake Betterment Association, the Cajun Festival will celebrate its 30th anniversary next year. “It’s definitely not a two-man show,” stated Engel. “We couldn’t do it without our army of volunteers. They are the unsung heroes.”
Cappi and Stanley Phillips of Mico received the second team award as volunteers for all elections, which are held at the Mico VFD. Their dedication showed an exemplary dedication to civic duty.
“I was raised around here, at Joe’s Place,” said Cappi, “I’ve been gone for a while, but now I’m back. I just felt the need to come back and help out my community.”
Stanley added, “We just see something that needs to get done and we get to work.” He served as treasurer for Mico VFD, and he and his wife have both worked at the Mico VFD Barbecue. The Phillips attend the Lakehills United Methodist Church (UMC) where they volunteer with the Bread of Life ministry.
Baxter & Dale
Buoy Award winner, Betty Baxter was honored for her decades of volunteerism in the Lakehills community. She can always be found in a kitchen somewhere – whether it’s at the American Legion, Lakehills UMC or Lakehills Civic Center Senior lunch program where she delivered Meals on Wheels for many years.
“Surprised and delighted” to receive a Buoy, Baxter was forbidden to enter the Civic Center kitchen because it was “her night to rest and be rewarded.”
Baxter is the Past President of TRIAD,the American Legion Post 410 Auxiliary, of the Lakehills Chapter AARP, of Helping Hand and of the Medina Lake VFD. She is a board and lifetime Member of the Medina Lake Betterment Association. Baxter also taught Sunday School at Lakehills UMC and worked in the nursery.
Micoian Ann Dale received a Buoy Award for her years of volunteer work – beginning with her infamous “Mico Ladies Beautication Committee and Gun Club.” These ladies walked along the Mico neighborhood, waving a “trigger” finger at neighbors shaming them into cleaning up their yards. Never mind that only one lady owned a gun, and that it was never seen, it convinced people to clean up their yards! Dale also started the Mico Arts Vocal Ensemble.
Serving as the president of the Lake Medina Conservation Society (LAMCOS), Dale led the charge to defeat legislation damaging to the lake. She also served as the organization’s newsletter editor for three years. A member of the Mico VFD since the 1960s, Dale was the first woman who learned drive the huge brush truck – even though she had use both hands to shift the gear.
Alanis & Leibold
Loy Ed Alanis was recognized for her spearheading the creation of the Lakehills Area Library.
Alanis led a group effort to find support for the library in Lakehills. The group had the difficult task of convincing Lakehills citizens that a community library was a priority, as well as many other barriers. Some told her a library wasn’t needed, and that it couldn’t be done. Fortunately, Alanis didn’t listen to the naysayers, and through resolute courage and grim energy, the library became a reality.
“We have such a great library now, a wonderful library director and staff and lots of volunteers who help out,” said Alanis from the podium.
Eddie Leibold received his Buoy Award for his donating FM 1283 frontage property for the sports fields in Lakehills and for the Lakehills Library. Leibold “stepped up to the plate” to assist Lakeplex youths in making positive choices. He decided that kids should have a place to play ball, a place where they could hone not only the skills of the sport but where they could learn life lessons such as team work, competition, discipline, and hard work.
“I was really surprised when Carol called and asked if we were coming tonight,” Leibold said. “I asked what I had done to be given an award. When John Leland called me and asked if I’d give him some land to build a baseball field I said sure – same with the library.”
The MLPS is a federally recognized, 501(c)3 charitable organization originally founded in 1987 and headquartered in Mico. Telephone number is 210-400-0331.
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Bandera County Courier
1210 Hackberry, PO Box 1704, Bandera, Tx 78003
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Thursday November 19, 2009
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