Laura Lavelle: Everybody pitches in for Fourth celebration |

Laura Lavelle: Everybody pitches in for Fourth celebration

The early morning hours of this year’s Lake of the Pines Independence Day Celebration were cool and breezy, with little sign of the noxious smoke that had permeated the foothills for nearly two weeks.

The Pinesmen were out in force to make the final preparations for this event. Raffle ticket chairman Bill Andre said tickets sales were “pretty good,” approaching $6,000. He hoped to reach his goal of $8,000 by the end of the day.

Some of this money would no doubt be used to cover penalties of about $2,000 assessed to cover the pyrotechnics pre-ordered for the fireworks show. The show did not take place because a permit was not granted for this year, due to a lack of fire safety personnel.

The canceled fireworks show did not deter vendors from bringing in mounds of red, white and blue bling to the LOP clubhouse for the annual craft fair. The Firebelles greeted customers at the door with a table of stationery designed by local artists. Some new items also were for sale including LOP logo wine glasses and tumblers.

Firebelles chairwoman Marilyn Lamotte said note card sales were $750 for last year. The club has raised over $321,000 for the community since 1990.

Ruth Davis, a 79-year-old who never misses her 3-mile morning walk, has been selling framed pressed flowers at this LOP event for 10 years. Ruth’s decorated messages for loved ones included the saying, “Never apologize for being yourself.”

She grows, picks and presses herself the flowers she uses for her art at her Auburn home.

The youngest entrepreneurs at the craft fair were the children of sisters and LOP residents Holly Burt and Debra Thomason. Courtney Burt, Tanner Reveles and Tanner Thomason were selling patriotic party gear that included lighted red-white-and-blue leis, pins, sunglasses and rings.

While stars-and-stripes craft items were being marketed in the clubhouse, waterfowl management committee chairman Ron Bomhoff was taking a few minutes of his busy day to chase geese from the grassy area behind the clubhouse. Ron and his team of volunteers will be stepping up efforts to rid the lake of these pests in about two weeks, once the goslings are able to actually fly well enough to leave the lake.

The beer booth was fully manned and operational before 9 a.m. on the morning of the 4th. Fred Warnecke, Pinesman and self-proclaimed “biermeister,” expected to dispense between 12 and 14 kegs of beer, although he worried the cooler weather would suppress patrons’ thirst.

“It takes years to get into the beer booth,” stated Terrel Jackson, another Pinesmen volunteer. Members of the jovial group said a coveted position in the beer booth was even harder to snag than “Packers tickets.”

Regardless, Sharon Gove, wife of event chairman Dave Gove, will be the first “lady” to handle the sudsy spigot at this year’s festivities.

Although beer is a big crowd pleaser, the main attraction for the under-12 crowd is the game booths. Supervisor Bob Krogman took over the games from organization guru Larry Elliott this year. Bob was in charge of the 12 booths, including the popular dunking station. His grandson, Kyle Krogman, was first to take a turn on the hot seat, with young Will Dresser having dibs on second.

Laura Lavelle’s column is for Lake of the Pines area residents to share thoughts and information. Contact her at or leave a message at 477-4230.

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