Umatilla gathered to celebrate the life of Karen Arbogast at the Umatilla Distinguished Citizens Awards Banquet on Friday evening.
Carl Arbogast accepted the George Alan Curtis Creative Spirit Award on behalf of his late wife who died Oct. 28, 2010, from injuries sustained in a motor vehicle accident. An active volunteer in the Umatilla community, Arbogast was an emergency room technician at Good Shepherd Medical Center. She was active in her church, a volunteer for the Umatilla Rural Fire Protection District, an ambulance emergency medical technician, a foster parent and a court advocate for foster children.
Its amazing how many lives you touch, Arbogast said. You never know how many until youre gone.
During the presentation, Umatilla Chamber of Chamber director Karen Hutchinson-Talaski became emotional.
I think about calling her all the time and of course I cant, she said. Her number is still in my phone.
About 80 tickets were sold for the annual event, which took place Friday at Desert River Inn, and focused on local organizations honoring those who made a difference over the past year.
Other award winners were:
Citizen of the year: Sharon Farnsworth
Business: Java Junkies
Police volunteer: Karen Love
Spirit of the community: Dave Trott
Reserve officer: Keri Jarmer
Police employee: Natalia Tovey
School volunteer: Val Taft
School classified employee: Kelly Stefani
Teacher: Rick Cotterell
Friends of the Library: Flo Glover
Habitat for Humanity: Dick Bondurant
Umatilla Alumni Association: Clyde Nobles, Jr.
For more on the awards, see?Wednesdays East Oregonian.