Citizen Wayne -
Former Aurelia mayor Dick Vogt, left, presents the Aurelia Citizen of the Year plaque to his friend, Wayne Gaston. Photo by Dan Whitney.
AURELIA - Wayne Gaston is a retired farmer and active member in several Aurelia community organizations, including the Kiwanis Club, American Legion, and United Methodist Church. Gaston also does a lot of volunteer work on his own, such as setting up the gazebo in the town park for Christmas and cleaning up the park. One thing Gaston doesn't do, though, is talk about all he does- never has and never will. Wednesday night, though, the "cat got out of the bag," as Gaston, 90 years young, was named the 2007 Aurelia Citizen Of the Year at the Aurelia Commercial Club's annual kickoff banquet.
Gaston's award was announced by his friend, former mayor Dick Vogt, who has been known to spin a story or two in his time. As Vogt told his "Wayne Gaston stories," the
Jackie Schmillen of KPTH Fox 44 television, a Cherokee County native, was the featured speaker at Aurelia's Commercial Club Kickoff Banquet on Jan. 31. Photo by Dan Whitney.
normally quiet Gaston spoke up from his seat at the head table, informing the banquet crowd of 82 that "some of that is manufactured," drawing a good laugh from the group.
Wayne Gaston with daughters Kay Jipp (l) and Carol Rasmussen (r). Photo by Dan Whitney.
Gaston retired from the farm to the town of Aurelia in 1980 with his late wife Bernadine, and has become a vital and unsung (until now) piece of the community fabric.
Two of Gaston's three daughters, Carol and Kay, and their spouses, were present with their dad at the head table.
A crowd of 80-plus was present for the 1/31 Banquet at the Aurelia Golf Club. Photo by Dan Whitney.