McFarland named Unsung Hero at banquet

By Buck Traxler, I-O Editor
McFarland named Unsung Hero at banquet
UNSUNG HERO — From the left, Marsha Hanley presents her sister Janie McFarland with a poem she had written in nomination of her award plus a special plaque, naming the CHS instructor of over 19 years, the annual Chamber of Commerce Unsung Hero for 2008. Last year’s winner was Ruby Bouma. I-O Photo by Buck Traxler
   Janie McFarland, a 19-year veteran of the classrooms at Conrad High School was selected as the recipient of the annual Unsung Hero award at the 44th annual meeting and banquet of the Conrad Area Chamber of Commerce on Thursday evening.
   More on this prestigious award later on.
   The banquet got going with the Pledge of Allegiance and American flag being presented by the local Boy and Cub Scout group followed by a short invocation from the Reverend Kirk Kestler of the First Presbyterian Church of Conrad.
   The table fest this year was catered by the Home Café and the meal, first class by any account, was made up of smoked rib steak and oven baked potato, steamed chef cut vegetables, a tossed salad and whole wheat bread loaves. The dessert consisted of apple crisp topped with a plop of vanilla ice cream.
   A new twist this year helped folks get through the buffet line much faster this year.  Borrowing from a TV series of years gone by, called Charlie’s Angels, CofC president and MC Jamey Byrnes, had Angels, Barb Killion, Mary Erickson and Shari Richter guide the seated tables to the buffet line and made sure that it moved right along, It did.
   Those giving local reports included Harold Olson for the Economic Development Corporation, who had held their annual reporting dinner at the Pondera Golf Club. He noted that his year the EDC had double it’s dues and that caused the membership to double as well.
   He touched on forgiving a loan to the PGC for their greens, the progress of a meat packing plant and an off ramp on I-15, with the surveying to begin in April and construction next year.
   Cheryl Curry from the Pondera Regional Port Authority noted that five loans for over $100,000 had gone out, creating six new jobs and retaining three. They are working with the city on the Industrial Park and I-15 off ramp as well.
   Mayor John Shevlin commented on how well the new street sweeper is working, work is moving along for the Industrial Park, Front Street got chip sealed and noted there are still holes to be filled which will be done this spring. He also touched on the Shooting Sports building, “That is coming along really well.”
   Byrnes flashed back on the success of the year’s programs, and activities which included the “big parade” at Whoop-Up, the Christmas Stroll and tree auction which has proceeds going to upgrade Christmas street decorations and the bringing of a circus and the well received Harlem basketball team.