2004 Clovis/Curry Chamber of Commerce President Jay Neff holds the rudder from 2003 President Blake Curtis during the passing of the rudder Friday at the 2004 Clovis/Curry Chamber banquet at Cannon Air Force Base. CNJ staff photo: Eric Kluth.
By Glen Seeber
Mary Carol Hartley, a community leader who died Oct. 16, 2003, was still very much on the minds of her friends Friday night.
She and her husband, 9th Judicial District Judge Ted Hartley, were presented with the Heart Award during the annual banquet of the Clovis/Curry County Chamber of Commerce, held at The Landing at Cannon Air Force Base.
Mrs. Hartley had previously been recognized for her community service when area shelter for domestic violence was named the Hartley House.
During the banquet, a 1-in-5 chance to win a cruise to the Mexican Riviera was auctioned — twice — to raise $3,800 for the Hartley House.
In an unusual twist on the raffle theme, the holders of five final tickets to be drawn were offered an opportunity to sell their tickets, or leave them in the running for the big prize. Joel Butler offered his ticket to be auctioned, with proceeds going to the Hartley House.
After spirited bidding, George Krattiger of Clovis Insurance purchased the ticket for $2,000. He and his associate, Stacey Martin, then turned around and offered the ticket for auction again, for the same beneficiary.
George and Paula VanderDussen’s bid of $1,800 bought the ticket.
By coincidence, that was also the winning ticket for the cruise, scheduled for later this spring.
Emotions ran strong during the evening as Mrs. Hartley was remembered. Judge Hartley was unable to complete his words of appreciation for the honor bestowed on himself and his late wife.
Mrs. Hartley fought cancer for 15 years, and during that time served the community, worked with the shelter, and “delighted in the chamber of commerce,” he said. “Every day is a day you can do something special.”
Ernie Kos, executive director of the chamber, said of Mrs. Hartley, “We miss you and want you to know you and Ted are worthy of this award.”
Kent Carruthers, who has been active in economic development, his church, youth programs, United Way, CIDC and Rotary, was honored as Citizen of the Year.
“Thank you,” he said. “I can’t believe it. Thank you very much.”
Gene Hendrick’s response, at being named Volunteer of the Year, was even shorter: “Thank you.” He was honored for time and energy he has devoted to numerous programs and projects, and for his “can-do attitude.”
Two Business of the Year honors were presented. Darryle, Bryce and Gary Bender accepted one on behalf of the Bender Family of Dealerships, and Steve Rooney and Duffy Moon accepted the other on behalf of Rooney-Moon Broadcasting Group.
James Walker accepted a special appreciation for the National Guard, and Col. Jeff Stambaugh accepted one for Cannon Air Force Base.
Jim Sours, president of Wells Fargo Bank, accepted a Good Neighbor Award.
Duane Chase won the Ambassador of the Year award.
Blake Curtis, outgoing president of the chamber, following the cruise theme of the evening, presented a rudder to the 2004 president, Jay Neff. Neff then gave Curtis a captain’s wheel for his term in office.