City leaders, governmental figures, business owners, and well-versed citizens turned out on Friday night, Jan. 18, as the Oakdale Chamber of Commerce hosted its 67th Annual Awards Dinner.
“The Oakdale chamber is proud to host this event each year to honor and recognize the great community volunteers each year for the past 67 years,” said Oakdale Chamber of Commerce CEO Mary Guardiola. “There were over 250 people that turned out.”
Lifetime Achievement Award winner Frank Clark was making the rounds between tables prior to the start of the event and appeared to know all in attendance.
Clark was being honored for the Lifetime Achievement award for his many years of volunteer service within many prominent committees, foundations and groups committed to building a better, stronger, more cohesive Oakdale community.
After an introduction and certificate presentation to the graduating leadership class by Guardiola and presenting Justin Ribeiro with the Director of the Year Award, Oakdale High School teacher and emcee Pete Simoncini took over introducing Clark and his 60-plus biography in Oakdale.
Simoncini threw in tidbits roasting Clark that drew laughs from the audience.
“The criteria for this award is simple,” said Simoncini, looking over to Clark. “Frank, you’re old.”
Clark, who was Oakdale Citizen of the Year in 2005, described himself as “still just a kid” and gave his hard-working mother all the credit for the award. Throughout his address depicting his struggles and triumphs, Clark repeatedly thanked the people of Oakdale and expressed his gratitude through all the years he was growing up and into the present.
“Frank Clark’s story touched everyone’s heart,” said Guardiola after the event. “Now we all know why he is so involved in helping others and making Oakdale a better place.”
Other award winners for the night featured Lupe Aguilera as Citizen of the Year, Oakdale Feed and Seed as Business of the Year, and the Kiwanis Club of Oakdale received the Community Service Award.
Candy Jauregui, Madison Lane, and Garrett Paulis were awarded the chamber’s Junior Achievement Award.