TuCARE dinner draws big crowd; locals given awards

Lenore Rutherford, The Union Democrat

More than 340 people attended the main fundraiser of the year sponsored by Tuolumne County Alliance for Resources and Environment on March 12.

About $8,200 was raised for the group's Tour for Kids Program and other funding needs.

Several awards were handed out during the evening.

Mike Olenchalk, of Sierra Outdoor School, was given the Excellence in Education award for his work with the Forestry Institute for Teachers.

Conservationist of the Year award went to Dave Horak, of the U.S. Forest Service for his commitment to working with the public and their lands using best management practices.

Eloise Fischer Spence, of Calaveras County, was named Rancher of the

Year for her efforts to promote excellence in range and herd management.

The Excellence in Broadcasting award went to Mark Truppner, news

director for KVML, KZSQ and KKBN, for fair and balance reporting.

Truppner is a former TuCARE board member.

The Power of One Award for volunteerism went to Terri Arington, of

Remington Ranch "for her selfless attitude and willingness to always

lend a hand."

Introductions included retiring TuCARE 2010 Board members, the 2011

board and dignitaries from city, county, state and federal agencies.

Among those attending were Congressman Jeff Denham, Assemblywoman

Kristin Olsen, a representative from Senator Tom Berryhill's office,

former Congressman Richard Pombo, Tuolumne County Supervisors Randy

Hanvelt, Evan Royce, John Gray and Dick Pland, Stanislaus National

Forest Supervisor Susan Skalski, Stanislaus National Forest

Communications Director Jerry Snyder, Tuolumne County Farm Bureau

President Sasha Farkas and Calaveras County Farm Bureau President Toni

Ann Fischer,

The past and future of Tuolumne County's lumber industry was

featured at the annual TuCARE dinner and auction, held March 12 at the

Sonora Elks Lodge.

Videos of the Standard mill town during it's heyday were shown during the social hour by Frank Diggle of Frank Productions.

Ark Kauppi, Ed Seickert and Mark Stevens, of the Tuolumne County

Carlo M. De Ferrari Archive spoke about the history of Standard Lumber


The keynote speaker was Dan Tomascheski, vice president of Sierra

Pacific Industries. He gave an update on the reconstruction of the mill

in Standard and the planned future of the facility.

The mill is very close to reopening with cutting edge technology after being closed since 2009.

Auctioneer for the live auction was Gil Fryer, of Tuolumne, and

master of ceremonies was Chris Conrad, president of TuCARE's board of


Contact Lenore Rutherford at lrutherford@uniondemocrat.com .

The Union Democrat
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