By Julie Giyer
Kern Valley Sun
The Man and Woman of the Year dinner was held at Paradise Cove on Tuesday, January 14, honoring Kathe Malouf and Bruce Vegter. The dinner, which was hosted by the Kern River Valley Chamber of Commerce, invited members of the community and dignitaries to share in the celebration of these two very special people who have contributed much of themselves to the Kern River Valley. The evening started off with a welcome from Chamber President Fred Clark. Shortly thereafter, an invocation was presented by Dave Freeland with the flag salute following afterward as led by his wife Debbie Freeland. Clark introduced the past years’ winners of this prestigious award that were in attendance. The Kern River Valley Chamber of Commerce installed this year’s officers and directors, which was also conducted by Debbie Freeland in the absence of Supervisor Mick Gleason. Dinner proceeded, with great food and even greater company as the room was filled with laughter and conversation.
After dinner, presentations were made. Marsha Smith presented the Woman of the Year award to Malouf. Erie Johnson presented the Man of the Year Award to Vegter. In addition, a certificate of Special Congressional Recognition was presented to both nominees by Clayton Fowler, a field representative for Congressman Kevin McCarthy. Debbie Freeland, Kern River Valley representative for Supervisor Mick Gleason, presented the nominees with Kern County Certificates of Recognition. Chamber President Clark presented the plaques from the Kern River Valley Chamber of Commerce. Marsha Smith, the Chamber’s past president, passed the gavel to this year’s President-elect Fred Clark. All-in all it was a fantastic evening celebrating two fantastic people.