One of the best-attended and most popular events of the year is the Valley of Omaha Christmas banquet. Awards are given to Brethren who have made a significant difference during the year as leaders, mentors, volunteers, as well as a few “rubber chickens,” given for members who have done something worthy of a good laugh.
This past December, the Lodge of Perfection officers hosted the Christmas banquet, beginning the evening with a holiday-theme debate with Lee Terry, 33° and Hal Daub, 33°. They debated whether Christmas makes children greedy, with Lee asserting that the holidays promoted greedy behavior in kids and Hal taking the view against it. Once again, Hal carried the vote with his view that there was nothing inherent in Christmas that caused greed in children.
After an entertaining debate, almost 100 guests enjoyed a soup dinner prepared by the Culinary Masters. Chris Nigro, 32° KCCH and the officers of the Lodge of Perfection began by recognizing Don “Pete” Peterson, 32° as Ambassador. Pete has brought in numerous Brethren, and always represents the Scottish Rite and Freemasonry wherever he goes.
Jim Flowers, 32° received the Exemplary Service award, acknowledging his service to the Valley setting up the trains each year at Christmas, volunteering with the KSA and fundraisers, and extraordinary engagement in the Valley. Patrick Graves, 32° was recognized with the Mentor award, always taking time to teach the theater computer, sound and light board equipment to Brethren who want to get involved in the sound room at Reunions.
Bob Pelletier, 32° was recognized for his leadership, serving as a line officer in the Chapter of Rose Croix and the Knights of St. Andrew, taking the lead on membership and retention calls, volunteering for gigs, and jumping in wherever needed.
For his incredible and dramatic acting in the 9°-10°, 17° and 21° Degrees, Mitch Inman, 32° was given the Best Actor award. The 14th Degree team was named the Best Degree of the Fall Reunion and Michael Corales, 32° was recognized by the Stage Crew. Jim Leedham, 33° received an award for his years of managing the sound at Reunions, and Justin Salado, 32° received an award from the Royal Order of the Duck.
Hal Daub, 33° received the SGIG’s Appreciation award for all he has done to support the Scottish Rite through philanthropy,