LAKENGREN — The Lake Lakengren gated community celebrated its 50th anniversary on Saturday, July 20. The celebration was hosted by the Lakengren A&E Committee and featured games, activities, vendors, food, live bands, and an opening ceremony at the Lodge.
The opening ceremony began with a flag ceremony presented by the Preble County Honor Guard. Natalie Drury performed the National Anthem.
General Manager Joe Overton took time to thank the A&E Committee for all of its work putting the celebration together.
“We came up with this idea to raise funds for our lodge. The funds will go into an account and that account will continue to grow. We are not putting in a new lodge, we love what our lodge has been, but we would like a face lift,” he said. “We want to be able to look at our lake while we’re eating. There are a lot of different ideas that are out there.
“The money you spend today, a good portion of that will wind back into the lodge. There will be other fundraisers throughout this year and next year, to help us to our goal.”
President of the Lakengren Board of Trustees Sue Wulff spoke about the Lakengren community, the A&E Committee, and the nature of the celebration.
“50th anniversary, can you believe it? I think it is awesome that we have the time to get together. One of the nice things about living here is the fact that we have a great community. We have a beautiful lake to look at, but what makes it so special is the people here. I don’t care who I talk to, there is always someone who says the nicest thing about Lakengren is how the people get together,” she said.
“This is a fundraiser. Yes, it is a celebration, but it is also a fundraiser so we can refurbish the lodge. Some of you may know it needs just a little bit of updating, I say with a little sarcasm in my voice.”
Wulff also thanked all who helped prepare for the celebration.
Next, Preble County Commissioner Rodney Creech spoke about his connection to Lake Lakengren and congratulated the association on their 50th anniversary.
“I wasn’t here 50 years ago, but somebody had a vision for Lakengren and the county and it was a good vision. It has brought a lot of people in the county and gives a place to live, work, and play. It is very critical to our county, being the second largest population. It also brings a lot of people into the county. We do a lot of work for people who don’t even live in the county or even the state,” he said.
“I have a lot of great memories being out here, since I was a little boy. A lot of friends and family members and a lot of great memories. Happy anniversary. Preble County and Lakengren has a very good working relationship. I look forward to that continuing for many years to come. Hopefully in another 50 years we will be here celebrating a 100-year anniversary.”
State Representative for the 43rd District, J. Todd Smith, also spoke about Lakengren and his memories of the gated community.
“When I first came to this community, pastoring a church in Farmersville, one of the first calls I got, there was somebody in our church who had a friend in Lakengren and I came out here and preyed, they were sick or soemthing. I got to come to Lakengren when I first came to this community, 22 years ago,” he said. “Congratulations to you on 50 years!”
Throughout the day there were numerous events and activities for the community to take part in. There was a Disc Golf Instruction, Cornhole Tournament, hula hoop contest, water relay, water cup relay race, chips in a bucket, ring toss, water ball tumbling, duck pond, ball catch, lake water fill race, noodle ball race, silent auction, Lakengren History Display, bake sale, pontoon boat rides/lake tour, dunk tank, picture studio, kids scavenger hunt, and music by The Worley Boys and The Growlers. There were also food and other vendors set up at the Lodge.
Reach Kelsey Kimbler at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @KKimbler_RH