The Tahoe-Douglas Elks named Minden resident Donald McRoberts their Citizen of the Year for 2020-21. Past Exalted Ruler Mary Wells presented McRoberts with the award during a celebratory dinner at the lodge April 3.
McRoberts is on the Carson Valley Community Food Closet’s Board of Directors and previously served as chairman of the board during the organization’s transition into their expanded warehouse facility in 2019.
He worked closely with CVCFC Director Sarah Sanchez to devise the plan for the new building, submit a grant proposal, and participate in a subsequent interview with the William N. Pennington Foundation in Reno. Throughout the development process, McRoberts was instrumental in helping secure project funding, applying for appropriate permits, and coordinating with building contractors.
Part of the vision for the new space included the construction of a kitchen, which allows the CVCFC to offer food preparation classes to their clients. McRoberts also volunteers during the annual holiday food drives at the Carson Valley Inn.
A member of St. Gall Catholic Church in Gardnerville, McRoberts previously served as head of the parish council and is a current representative on the corporate board. He coordinates the lectors for the church and is part of a team that records videos of church services and posts them online for those attending remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In addition to providing updates to the St. Gall website, he helps maintain the website for the Carson Valley chapter of the International Footprint Association. McRoberts operates the local weather website carsonvalleyweather.com and provides weather updates to the National Weather Service. He was a volunteer with the Douglas County Sheriff’s Citizen Patrol for over a decade.
As a HAM radio operator, McRoberts offers his support during the National Pony Express re-ride each year as well as Alpine County’s annual Death Ride bicycling event. He’s an avid innovator and craftsman, able to devise a clever lid system for keeping birds and bunnies out of his garden and to craft fountain pens from hunks of raw wood.
Tahoe/Douglas Elks member Paul Conrad and his wife, Judy, have been friends with McRoberts and his wife, Barbara, for 40 years, and Paul introduced Don during the Citizen of the Year dinner on Saturday. To illustrate McRoberts’ helping nature and willingness to take care of anyone in need, Conrad shared a story McRoberts once casually relayed about a time during his years of service in the Air Force. In the early 1960s, McRoberts was part of a crew that performed a rescue mission at the Chinese Wall escarpment in Montana’s Bob Marshall Wilderness.
McRoberts said the rescue involved a boy and his dog, who’d become trapped on a foot wide wedge of rock about halfway up a 1,000-foot tall face of the wall. The rescue team built a 600-foot ladder to reach the stranded duo and successfully brought them back to safety.
In noting the numerous contributions McRoberts has made to the community over the years, Conrad said, “Don is such a deserving person to honor as Citizen of the Year for all the things he’s done… He’s the epitome of what people in the Carson Valley are like; he’s active and unable to say no to things! He’s very modest and just a really good person.”
Congratulations to Don McRoberts, Tahoe/Douglas Elks’ 2020/21 Citizen of the Year.
Tahoe/Douglas Elks’ April dinner events
Dash and Dine date night takes place Friday from 5-7 p.m. Menu is fish and chips (or onion rings) and coleslaw. One order provides two servings and is available for a $25 donation.
Reservations must be made by 4:30 p.m. today. Call the lodge at 775-265-5483 and leave a message with your name, phone number, preference for chips or onion rings, time you’d like to pick up and number of orders.
The Elks welcome the community back to the lodge for their “Cook Your Own Steak Night” on Monday, April 19 from 5-7 p.m. The menu features a generous ribeye steak, baked potato, salad, baked beans, dessert, and fixings. Donation is $18; an extra split plate is $6 more.
Reservations must be placed by April 18. Call Jim Plamenig at 775-267-9205 or 310-874-4655 to secure a spot.
Masks are required at the event and may be removed during dining at the table.
The Tahoe/Douglas Elks Lodge is located at 1227 Kimmerling Road in the Gardnerville Ranchos. Proceeds from local Elks events benefit programs for seniors, veterans, and youth in the Carson Valley.
Amy Roby can be reached at email@example.com.