25th State of the Island dinner More than sixty people attended the 25th Annual State of the Island Dinner sponsored by the Put-in-Bay Chamber of Commerce on Friday evening, March 25th at the Put-in-Bay Town Hall. After cocktails and a hot dog picnic-style dinner, speakers from the various island organizations got up and told about plans and events for the upcoming season.

Among the speakers were Maggie Beckfordvwho talked about the Chamber and the museum, Chamber President Ty Winchester who discussed the Chamber’s upcoming events, Put-in-Bay Police Chief Ric Lampela, JR Domer who represented the EMS and the Volunteer Fire Dept., Chris Krueger from the Put-in-Bay Recreation Committee and Senior Center, Linda Rence from the Lake Erie Islands Library, and Scott Market from the Put-in-Bay Garden Club.

Also speaking at the state of the island dinner was Put-in-Bay School Superintendent Steve Poe, Linda Parker from the Black Swamp Conservancy, Peter Huston from the Put-in-Bay Arts Council, Larry Fletcher from the Ottawa County Visitors Bureau, Put-in-Bay Township Trustee Matt Miller, Put-in-Bay Mayor Judy Berry, Mother Mary Staley from St. Paul’s Episcopal Church and Perry’s Monument Superintendent Blanca Stransky.

You could write a book about all the events, activities, functions and issues discussed by this illustrious and hardworking group of the island’s leaders, but since there isn’t room in this issue of the Put-in-Bay Gazette to discuss them all at length, we’ll have to let you read about them all in various articles in this and other upcoming editions. We will, however, say we learned several things of interest which we will take space to write about. First, we learned the Put-in-Bay Police Dept. kept track of what it did this past season and it amounted to more than 6,000 things. JR Domer reported EMS runs were up 11% last year over the ten-year average. EMS runs were 298 in the Village and 122 in the Township. Chris Krueger, while speaking on behalf of Candace Pucci about the Senior Center, told everyone, “Pretend like I’m Candy.” After reading off a list of all the fun senior activities at the center, Chris told those assembled shes looking forward to getting old.

We learned Scott Market is quite the flower connoisseur. And from Maggie Beckford, we learned, “The resale shop at the museum this past season turned unwanted island stuff into close to $53,000 of treasure.” The museum uses the proceeds to preserve your island history, so that’s really great. A big thanks goes out to Miller Boat Line who donated a season pass for the door prize at the event. Peter Huston won the prize, but as a joke, Maggie and Ty at first announced Julene Market won the prize. Proceeds from ticket sales went to help Tsunami victims in Japan.