“I’m just a little overwhelmed,” commented Dave Grandstaff when he received the annual Wawasee Property Owners Association Chief Award Saturday morning. The award was presented at the annual WPOA meeting.
He admitted he didn’t realize he was the recipient until mention was made regarding his grandchildren and great-grandchild.
WPOA President Kay Young presented the award at the conclusion of the breakfast meeting on the SS Lilly Pad.
Grandstaff has been a “strong supporter of the lake for over 35 years.” Young explained this year’s chief has been busy at the lake and supported his “other home” during the off season by serving in many capacities.
Grandstaff has been an active member of his hometown’s town council and of his church, serving on the church council. He has been active with the local art program, the local county historical museum, was a trustee of the local college, and was a 28-year board member of the local bank, serving as president of that board.
During the 35-plus years he has had a place at the lake, Grandstaff has been active in many facets of the area including serving on the WPOA board of directors for 17 years, five of those years as president. During those 17 years, his goal was to enhance the lake experience while preserving its water quality. During his term of office there were changes to the WPOA: renaming the directory to Neighbors and the newsletter to Lakeviews. He was also the editor and publisher for seven years.
Grandstaff implemented an in-depth survey to assist with strategic planning for the future of WPOA and was instrumental in the first Wawasee Family Album, shown on the USA and PBS channels. “This year’s chief has always been there in support when I have need someone to talk to about previous policy or things dealing with the WPOA,” stated Young.
“Somehow the chief also found time to be the president of the family business, which is almost a century old; a writer, photographer, organizer, parent to two daughters and a son, grandparent to four granddaughters and two grandsons, as well as a great-grandfather to one, with another due this fall, and last, but certainly not least, husband to wife Jane.”
Grandstaff joins the list of past chiefs who have included Wawasee Boat, Sudlows Pier, Rookstool Pier, Dave Lichtenaur, Mike Kiley, Sen. Bob Meeks, Dick Ruddle, Spike Ford and Bob Dickinson.
Another highlight of Saturday morning’s event was the presentation of donations to three organizations.
Heather Harwood, executive director of Wawasee Area Conservancy Foundation, was presented a $1,000 check for the educational committee to use for Lakes Talks and Eats. Dr. Nate Bosch, director of Kosciusko Lakes and Streams and assistant professor of environmental science at Grace College, was presented a $600 donation to continue the “Lake in the Classroom” project at Syracuse Elementary School and $27,000 was given to the Syracuse-Wawasee Trails Committee.
Donn Baird, treasurer of the Syracuse-Wawasee Trails Committee, accepted the donation. He announced the group will be able to complete around Syracuse and the committee is looking at two long segments at Wawasee. A survey will be done around Vawter Park and other areas along SR 13. “This will go a long way in helping out.” Young noted the donation to the trails foundation was the result of this year’s cottage tour and sale of prints in the annual artist series.
The next cottage tour will be July 24, 2015, as it’s an every other year project. More than 500 participated in this year’s tour. It was also noted this was the final year for the artist series with the current artwork “Grand Finale” and prints of previous works still available at The Water Lily in Syracuse.
The only point of business during the morning was the acceptance and reappointment of Cindy Quinn, Kip Schumm, Jerry Babbs and Tom Tuttle II to the board.
A brief presentation was made by Sally Gindling, along with her annual story of an event, which occurred with the event.