May 6, 2007

LIVCO Dems celebrate annual dinner with awards

Some 100 party faithful turned out Saturday evening at the Livingston County Democratic Party’s 24th annual Edwin B. Winans Dinner at the Hamburg VFW Post to celebrate the past year that saw Democrats take control of the U.S. House and Senate, the Michigan House and retain the governorship.

As part of that annual celebration the party also hands out awards. It was a noteworthy dinner because for the first time in 13 years the event saw a new chair serving as the MC. Matt Evans replaced long-time chair Joe Carney in December, and Carney was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award for his dedicated stewardship of the growing party. Evans said the goal of the party in the next election is to elect a Democrat to the county Board of Commissioners for the first time since 1996 and take five township board seats, and he said that will be possible with the groundwork laid by Carney.

“It’s usually me who is doing the surprising, but the tables have been turned on me,” Carney said. “You are in good hands.”

The John D. Donohue Citizenship Award went to Matthew Gabriel, the webmaster for the party’s website. The award is named after the last Democrat to serve on the Livingston County Board of Commissioners, who passed away while in office in 1996. He served on the board from 1987 until his untimely death.

Mary LePiors was the winner of The Herb and Ruth Munzel Distinguished Service Award for her years of volunteer service with various organizations.

“If you looked up the word saint in the dictionary you would find her picture,” Evans said.

The award was previously called the Distinguished Service Award since 1987, but it was renamed in 2005 to honor the many years of civic involvement and service to local and statewide organizations by the Munzels.

With a new chair came a couple of new awards. The first is the Chairman’s Special Recognition Award, and the first winner of that award was Delphine Palkowski, a member of the executive committee.

Our Unsung Heroes Award went to seven people to honor the hard, grunt work they do for the party with little or no recognition.

“These are the people that do the work of stuffing envelopes, phone banking and any other task we ask of them,” Evans said. “These are unsung heroes, but they are now sung.”

Those being recognized were Judy Volk, Jan Vogel, Nancy Sauvage, Annette Taylor, Ed Palkowski, Chuck Fellows and Jerry Goode.

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