By Linda Moody
February 6, 2014
VERSAILLES - Monday evening the Versailles Area Chamber of Commerce (VACC) honored Adela Hoke as Citizen of the Year during their annual banquet. The event was held at the Stillwater Valley Golf Course.
Presenting the award on behalf of the VACC was board president Brian Wagner.
“The Versailles Area Chamber of Commerce is proud to present the 2014 Citizen of the Year to Adela Hoke. She was born, raised and raised her family in and around the Versailles community. She not only lived in Versailles, but spent her working days in Versailles as well, having retired from Versailles Savings and Loan some 20 years ago,” Wagner stated.
“Adela has been involved in numerous endeavors over the years. She has volunteered with the Versailles Athletic Boosters, Summer Swim Team, St. Denis Catholic Church with the Religious Education (CCD) Program and as a tabulator of Sunday collections. Adela helps with the Darke County Right to Life Garage Sales and is involved with he Community Meals program each month.”
Hoke has been an active volunteer with Worch Memorial Public Library. She assisted with the relocation project helping the library move from the Main Street location to its current location – assisting with the book tagging process. She has been involved with the Friends of the Library Organization helping with the annual book sale during Poultry Days.
She also volunteers at the Versailles Health Care Center on many different events. She helps with the weekly bingo night, assists with monthly birthday parties for the residents, assists wheelchair bound patients with shopping trips and visits homebound individuals to offer her help with errands and other items they might need assistance with.
Wagner went on to state that a volunteer is so much more than someone who performs voluntary work.
“I have heard several ways to describe the topic of volunteering: paying forward, giving back. But volunteers do so much more than that, and are so much more than that. I really think, as one of the nominations letters stated a volunteer is someone who ‘quietly goes around doing good’ is better definition.” Wagner concluded with, “Ladies and gentlemen, here’s to volunteers in general and a certain volunteer in particular. I am pleased to present the 2014 Citizen of the Year award to Adela Hoke.”
In the midst of a standing ovation the small statured Hoke emerged from among the many friends and family members on hand to accept her award and to make a brief acceptance speech.
“Thank you to the chamber for this very special honor. I was totally surprised when Brian called and said they had chosen me. I was humbled that the ones who nominated me thought I deserved this recognition,” said Hoke. “I’ve been blessed through the years to have been able to volunteer with my help in various ways. And I hope it has made a positive difference.” Every day I appreciated that I live in a community like this where there are so many volunteers who do so much good. And every day I’m always proud to say that Versailles is my hometown. And again I think you”, she concluded.
Tristan Weis present Hoke with a congratulatory letter from U.S. Congressman John Boehner. She received further recognition with proclamations from Ohio House of Representatives Jim Buchy, and Ohio Senator Keith Faber, which was presented by Chamber Directors Eric Paulus and Jerry Bey, respectively.
The chamber also recognized the Versailles Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) for their monumental service to the schools by presenting the People-Pride-Progress award to its members.
This award exists to recognize organization that have made contributions to the Versailles community. Versailles Elementary Principal Brenda Braun gave a brief history of the organization and its accomplishments and Chamber Director Aaron Moran presented the award.
The Versailles PTO came to existence through efforts made by members of the North Star PTO after the closing of the North Star school. The group started with $200 and has raised over $63,000. The money has been used to purchase playground fencing and new swings; provide grade school field trips, purchase six smart boards for the elementary classrooms, sponsor motivational speakers, host individual family nights for grades K-3, host mother/son bowling and the father/daughter dance, Tiger Pride Fridays, as well as co-funding: Math Night, Science Night, Literacy Night, Art Show, the Fourth Grade Graduation, and the Kindergarten Meet and Greet.
Original members of the PTO were Sandy Mangen, Angie Mangen, Penny Treon and Kim Hecht. Together with Traci Anthony, Erin Rismiller, Holly Barga, Allyssa Demange, Brenda Schmitmeyer and Vicki Buscher this club makes good things happen.
Prior to the presentation councilman Jeff R. Subler gave a brief summary of the continued growth of the Village, and school superintendent Aaron Moran spoke on the academic success of Versailles as well as the high achievements of the band, FFA and sports programs.
The evening also included a report from chamber president Brian Wagner and the re-election of six board of directors to new two-year terms: Kathy Magoto, Dan Watren, Mitch Eiting, Brian Wagner, Ron Mescher and Aaron Moran. Other board directors are: Eric Paulus, Dave Miller, Fred Poeppelman, Scott Langston, Jerry Bey, and Rodd Hale.
On hand for the event were chamber members, past Citizen of the Year recipients, as well as, members of the village council, school board, township trustees, state representatives, county commissioners and other active members of the community.