Byron School Superintendent Eric Prater called it a positive evening, and it was. Politics and the economy aside, members of the community and local commerce gathered last weekend to celebrate and honor Discovery Bay's philanthropists, educators and businesses.
Sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce, the third annual State-of-the-Town was held on Oct. 11 at the Discovery Bay Country Club. The evening featured presentations by Chamber President-elect Chris Steele, Town Manager Virgil Koehne and Byron Union School District Superintendent Prater. Chamber of Commerce President Tim Mobley served as master of ceremonies.
Praising the business community for its support nothing happens without all of you Steele also called on local merchants to continue to bolster and sustain the town's established businesses as well as its new ones. We have a great opportunity to grow and promote our businesses here in town, he said. Our job is to help businesses prosper, and we can.
Koehne, highlighting the town's 10th year as a community services district (CSD), provided an update on the town's accomplishments, including the ground-breaking wetlands project, the implementation of the water meter systems, and the town's move toward solar power. We now have 5,800 homes in Discovery Bay and we have a lot to be proud of, said Koehne.
Prater agreed. I'm happy to see that there are lots of supportive faces here tonight, he said. Difficult times, in my opinion, reveal the character of others and I have a great deal of respect for one such person Carol Elder who is a capable, positive teacher in our district. I just hold her in the highest esteem.
Elder, who was chosen Teacher of the Year, said she was thrilled by the honor: I love teaching, and this is a very nice honor. I was surprised (by the award) because there are so many great, talented teachers in our district. I'm very thrilled.
Greg Spivak represented Hannah Nicole Vineyards for Business of the Year and took the opportunity to encourage other businesses in the community to continue supporting small business. There is so much that we as business people can do, said Spivak. (When I was) growing up, my family gave enormous amounts of their time, and so that's one of the reasons I'm so involved. I'm very proud. Thank you.
Last year's Citizen of the Year, Shellie Lichlyter, handed over her crown to Todd and Heather Pastorini. The Pastorinis, who were victims of home break-in last Christmas Eve, have been instrumental in rallying support for public safety and awareness. This award is about the unsung heroes of the community, said Lichlyter. This is such a great place to live and play but that doesn't just happen.
I just want to say that our family loves Discovery Bay, said Todd in accepting the award. To have your boat in your backyard and be able to ski in the morning, horseback ride in the afternoon and coach a game after that is pretty amazing.
The only thing we knew (after their burglary) was how to affect change, added Heather. A home is being able to accept the help of neighbors when you need it, and we did. For us, if we were able to make everyone just a little more aware, that's great. Thank you very, very much.
Representatives from the offices of Supervisor Mary Piepho, State Assemblyman Guy Houston and Congressman Jerry McNerney were also on hand to congratulate the winners and present certificates recognizing their awards.