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Longtime Toastmaster receives award at District 39 conference

Photo submitted by Jerri Glover

Empire Toastmasters of Grass Valley saw one of its longtime members, Distinguished Toastmaster Anna Oates, receive the Herb Yarbrough Sustained Service Award May 18 at the Toastmasters District 39 Spring Conference in Stockton.

Oates is 84 years old and has been a Toastmaster for 30 years. During her 30 years, she has served as both an area governor and division governor, always achieving distinguished status. She has mentored both new and seasoned members. She has attended 29 of 30 International Conventions, missing only one due to a foot injury.

One of Oates’ most noted accomplishments as a Toastmaster was joining with other Region 1 Toastmasters in 1989 to found a Toastmasters Club in Georgia, then part of southern Russia. The club was dubbed the “Love Thy Neighbor” club. Because of the restrictions on sending Russian currency outside the nation to the United States to pay dues, Ms. Oates actually paid the dues for the members for several years, out of her own pocket.

Oates received a plaque that displayed not only her name but the name of all of the previous Herb Yarbrough Award winners. At the next Spring Conference in 2014, the plaque will be passed to the next recipient, and Ms. Oates will be given her own plaque to commemorate her award.

Oates was stunned and honored to receive the award.

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