GREENVILLE – The Darke County Park District ‘s annual Friends and Volunteers Christmas Carry – in took place recently at the Shawnee Prairie Preserve and Nature Center.
In addition to it being a holiday gathering, the event also honored retiring Commissioner Steve Shaltry. Shaltry has served the Darke County Park District for 24 years.
“I don’t know where to begin,” Shaltry said. “When I saw the word “honor” on the invitation that came to my house, that is over the top for me.”
Before dinner, Shaltry was praised by many folks, beginning with Darke County Park District Director Roger Van Frank. In addition to his personal remarks regarding Shaltry as a great teacher, he read aloud commendations Shaltry had received. One was from Jason R. Aslinger, a Darke County Probate judge, who is responsible for the overseeing of the state park districts. The other was from the General Assembly of the State of Ohio. The comments came from Ohio Representative Jim Buchy (R-Greenville) from Ohio’s 84th House District and Speaker of the Ohio House Clifford A. Rosenberger (R-Clarksville) from Ohio’s District 91.
“You have demonstrated an unwavering dedication in performing your duties and your responsibilities with the upmost efficiency and confidence,” the document said, in-part. “You have given freely of your time to obtain the myriad goals of the board in an enthusiastic manner. You have the satisfaction of knowing you have provided a valuable service to the community.”
Other comments came from former Darke County Park board members Dan Schipfer and Susan Gray, Commissioner John Cook and Shaltry’s replacement, as of January 1, 2017, Tina White.
Shaltry thanked his family and addressed the volunteers.
“I can’t let the evening go past without thinking of the people who have been here before and aren’t with us today,” he said. “So many people contributed in so many different ways and we are following their footsteps, keeping the parks alive. It’s a great thing to know that your family has roots and we really do with the park district. I appreciate all of you and what you do, whether it’s one day a year or every week, thank you is something we say. It isn’t enough but we want you to know that we really care.”
Van Frank led the group in prayer before dinner. He asked all volunteers and staff to raise their hands.
“Thank you and I love you all,” he said.
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