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Valley Home News for June 22, 2011
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History has been made again in Valley Home with the dedication of the new Valley Home Community Center Park on Saturday, June 18, 2011. Music filled the air thanks to new Valley Home resident D.J. Ken Soffiotto and his Cruiser Music Productions. The wonderful aroma of steak and chicken sandwiches prepared by Jerome Food Catering of Valley Home greeted visitors as they arrived at the park. Attendees soon found out that there was more to remember about the food than the aroma, it was outstanding.
Greeting visitors as they arrived was the beautifully transformed water tank which had served the Valley Home Clubhouse for so many years, newly gussied up by Valley Home School principal, Kevin Hart with final touches made by Signs by Randy and blue and white balloons attached at the top by principal Hart.
The crowd of attendees were seated at the recently obtained beautiful redwood picnic tables (funded by Oakdale Irrigation District) located under the park pavilion, and welcomed to the event by Valley Home Park chairman, Joe Perez, who provided a history of the work involved in creating the park and gave special thanks to all those who were helpful in getting the work accomplished. He then introduced special guests, Sheriff Adam Christianson, County District One Supervisor Bill O’Brien (and son Alex), and Oakdale Mayor Pat Paul. All three individuals have been especially helpful getting important things done for our Valley Home Community.
Joe then introduced retiring Valley Home Community Center Treasurer Sharon Furtado and husband Anthony, Valley Home MAC chairman, Nancy Osmundson, and Valley Home members of the Valley Home MAC Safety Committee, Kate Hart and Winnie Mullins. The latter three ladies made two special presentations. The first was to your Valley Home reporter, who was gifted with a beautiful bouquet of flowers and the dedication of a flowering tree planted in the park garden with a brass plaque that reads “Planted in honor of Laura Burghardt, In appreciation for your pride and devotion to the Valley Home Community.” The group then gave special recognition to Joseph and Linda Perez with a red maple tree planted in their honor with a brass plaque that reads “Planted in honor of Joe & Linda Perez In appreciation for your many years of devotion to the Valley Home Community.” Valley Home 4-H members obtained the trees for the honorees from Knudsen Nursery, dug and planted them and the plaques and also placed a beautiful stone bench between the two trees. The bench and stone markers were smuggled in and planted the night before the celebration and really took the honorees by surprise. Representing Valley Home 4-H at the dinner were Jenna Heaton and Cody Bartholomew.
Valley Home Community Center Secretary, Glenn Burghardt was introduced and offered a history of the Clyde-Thalheim-Valley Home area and its early settlers and spoke on the work done by an earlier group of Valley Home residents who tried so hard, but were unable because of new county building regulations, to save the old Valley Home Clubhouse. Debbie Locker chaired several fundraisers and raised funds to help save the building, when the effort proved unsuccessful due to the new regulations, the funds she helped to raise were used to help make the new park a reality. Debbie was one of the special guests at the dinner on Saturday.
Special thanks to all who helped to make the event such a wonderful experience by sharing their reminiscences, such as Park committee member and long time Valley Home resident, Roger Beymer, Linda Perez for her interesting display of 50 photographs detailing current park work, Valley Home School photographs and history display by School Principal Hart and photographs of early Valley Home residents and community center fundraiser photos displayed by Glenn and Laura Burghardt. Special thanks to Past Oakdale Garden Club president Brenda Peterson who attended the event as past president of the club, represented the group who were among the first to donate two Valley Oak trees to the park. Thanks also to Mary Fowzer of Valley Home who also helped in providing trees and plants for the park. Special thanks also go to Ralph Damante who created the stand for the Valley Home Park memorial sign and to Valley Home resident Tom Winchester for countless hours of valuable help in this historic project.
Perhaps one of the most touching scenes at the event was watching the children who attended the event enjoying a fun game of kickball on the lawn area after the dinner.
The dedication event will be long remembered by all who were in attendance.