Renee Slakoper gives credit to family, friends and teamwork
ANDREW LEIBENGUTH/SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS Lansford Borough Council member Lenny Kovach, left, and Angela Costello, right, look over pictures and laugh about good times with 2010 Honoree Renee Slakoper, center, during the Lansford American Legion 2010 Person of the Year Dinner.
The Lansford American Legion Post 123 honored Lansford resident Renee M. Slakoper as its 2010 Person of the Year, during the second annual Person of the Year Dinner Saturday at the Legion.
Guest speakers and friends spoke of Slakoper's strong desire to rebuild Lansford by volunteering countless hours for local non-profit organizations as well as taking big roles through annual events such as the Children's Christmas Party, Easter Egg Hunt, parades, and her key role in relocating the coal car in J.F.K. Park.
Friends also spoke of how monumental she was in reviving the Panther Valley Pumpkin Parade.
She is also working with the Veterans Association by taking a joint lead with the Carbon County Veterans Day Parade.
Slakoper also personally organizes events and press releases to recognize new businesses which open in the area.
In addition to recently being named Lansford's borough secretary/treasurer, Slakoper also currently serves as the director for Lansford Alive, chair and treasurer for the Lansford Improvement Committee, and as secretary for the Panther Valley Council of Carbon County Chamber of Commerce.
Edwards Air Force Base in California served as Slakoper's home prior to moving to Lansford in 1997.
During the ceremony, Slakoper's friends spoke of her many community accomplishments.
She also received a number of awards, certificates, and plaques for her achievements.
Lansford American Legion Commander Bill Coll stated Slakoper's many past and present accomplishments.
He also spoke of her taking the lead in this year's Carbon County Veterans Day Parade, to ensure the tradition continues and our veterans are remembered.
Lansford Alive President Mark Sverchek spoke and presented Slakoper with the Black Diamond Award for her accomplishments to the community.
Bob Silver, past Lansford mayor, stressed Slakoper's involvement in all community events.
Master of Ceremonies and one of Slakoper's close friends was Angela Costello, who found it hard to keep a dry eye while she talked about all the dedication and motivation that Slakoper possesses.
Other speakers and friends who spoke during the recognition ceremony were Summit Hill Mayor Paul McArdle; representative for Speaker of the House Keith McCall; Paula Digilio; Lansford Chief of Police John Turcmanovich;and 2009 Lansford Legion Honoree Gene Binder.
During Slakoper's speech, she mentioned how she spent a good part of her life organizing community events and parades.
Her first parade in which she played a key role in was at Edwards AFB in California.
She mentioned how the constant noise of planes overhead would lessen the parade's purpose and how proud she was when she actually had the Air Force stop all planes flying over Edwards AFB to allow for a more enjoyable ground parade.
Slakoper gave credit to her family, close friends, and community, pointing out teamwork as the true success for her accomplishments.
She pointed out that a lot of people in the community don't know all the great things the American Legion does.
She added, "I am honored to be here. They have pulled me in their home and are awesome people. They routinely give to the community, mostly in silence."
Slakoper also spoke about all the people who work behind the scenes and deserve just as much credit.
"It is a team that pulls things together, not me," Slakoper said.
" Our program only states one-eighth of what Renee does for our community, and Lansford loves her,"said Coll.