Text and Photos
By Deb Patterson
Tom and Holly Tuttle, Syracuse, were presented the co-Chief Award Sunday, Aug. 19, at the Wawasee Property Owners Association annual meeting. The meeting, attended by close to 70 people, was held at The Owl’s Nest, North Webster.
The Chief Award has been presented each year since 2006 to honor someone who has given of his or her time and talents to the community, helps preserve Lake Wawasee and shows how much they love and support the lake.
Tom Tuttle accepted the award on behalf of himself and his wife, who was out of town for the weekend. “What an honor. What a lake community we have here … living up here has just been wonderful, especially seeing my kids go through the school system and seeing all of you up here. This is quite a surprise,” said Tuttle.
Both of the Tuttles were raised on Wawasee and were active in school activities while their daughters attended school and participated in sports, according to Kay Young, WPOA board president. She noted they were involved in the PTO and sports organizations as well as community activities.
Young noted the couple’s involvement included groups that benefited the community as well as the lake. Both have kept the annual Flotilla going, diligently work with the Cancer Care Fund of Kosciusko County and participate in philanthropic groups such as Women of Today. Holly Tuttle has served on the board of the Wawasee Area Conservancy Foundation and Tom Tuttle has served on the WPOA board and heads various groups including the association’s annual golf outing. “Both are active on lake activities,” stated Young.
While the Chief Award is the highlight of the annual meeting, so is the presentation of checks to local organizations. This year was no different.
Megan McClellen, executive director of the Syracuse-Wawasee Trails Foundation, was speechless when she was presented a $30,000 check from WPOA. These funds were raised by the “Tour of the Century” home tour, which saw more than 400 participants. The money will be used for the Conklin Bay trail section, expected to be under construction in the spring.
Checks were also presented to Jim Tranter, head of the Wawasee Lake Patrol by Tom Tuttle on behalf of the Wawasee Flotilla, funds received from the annual shirt sales, and to Turkey Creek Fire Territory.
Carolyn Anderson, WPOA board member, accepted the $2,000 check on behalf of the fire territory and explained the department’s desire to purchase a drone to be used in assisting with fires, derailments and even water rescues.
During the brief business meeting, Young briefly spoke of how the dues are utilized by the association — lake patrol, hosting of the pops concert, support of a school aquarium with the Lilly Lakes and Stream, support of the Wawasee Flotilla, WACF, maintenance on the pump and dump, special programs at the high school and grade school getting students out to the lake and learning about the environment, boating classes and special collections for the fireworks and patrol boat replacement funds. Other funds have been used for installation of dry hydrants.
Additionally Young noted the association is currently working with its legislative committee on getting the CSX bridge repaired and on the Syracuse water control device (dam) which is in need of repair.