2024 Valentine Lady, Card artist,

Poetry Winners share the love

By Chuck Gibson

LOVELAND, OH (February 9, 2024) – It was an oasis of love for all who attended the annual Chamber Valentine Breakfast Program at the Oasis Conference Center in Loveland Friday morning.

LMRCA President Cee Cee Collins with opening remarks at 2024 Valentine’s Day Breakfast (Chuck Gibson)

The annual event organized by the Little Miami River Chamber Alliance (LMRCA) was a sea of red with roses, and hearts and many attending putting on their finest red fashions. Chamber President Cee Cee Collins offered welcoming comments once everyone settled in with some breakfast fare. She thanked all in attendance and gave special attention to the many business sponsors who help make the Valentine’s Day Breakfast happen. Collins introduced Loveland Mayor Kathy Bailey who stepped to the podium and offered her thanks to the chamber; the community as a whole, but most especially to all the Valentine Ladies who help spread the love all around Loveland throughout the year. Pastor Bill Hounshell (retired) followed the mayor to the podium and served as emcee throughout the morning festivities.

Pastor Bill Hounshell – emcee for the event. The card art before unveiling is seen on the right in photo (Chuck Gibson)

The history of the Loveland Valentine ladies was shared and Pastor Bill introduced all the Valentine Ladies in attendance and named every Valentine Lady in the history of the program dating back to Doris Pfiester in 1971. Sadly, many named have passed away while some were just not able to attend.  Kay Bolin, 2018 Valentine Lady, was introduced and read her letter of nomination aloud for 2024 Valentine Lady Becky Giver. A rousing round of applause rose from the crowd as Giver stepped to the podium and offered a heartfelt thanks to all and shared her story of visiting the Loveland Schools. During those visits, she read the recently released book authored by Loveland’s Mike Meldon: “Josie and Doug: The Magic of Native Plants!”.

2024 Valentine Lady Becky Giver at the podium during the Valentines’ Day Breakfast (Chuck Gibson)

Becky Giver being serenaded with a love song by a barbershop quartet (Chuck Gibson)

The Valentine Ladies pose together along with LCSD Superintendent Mike Broadwater, LMRCA President Cee Cee Collins and Meredith Taylor (Chuck Gibson)

“The kids have been wonderful. They were mesmerized,” said Becky Giver. “They already know so much about the importance of loving our land and caring for our environment. The Loveland teachers have already taught them so much. They learned a lot from Granny’s Garden at the schools.”

The poetry contest winners is always a special treat with the poems written by school children from second grade through high school and an adult winner each year as well. Pastor Bill introduced each winner and Loveland Schools Superintendent Mike Broadwater greeted each one with a certificate as were announced and came forward.

Mike Broadwater with the poetry contest winners: front l-r Roman Lyke, Rachel Goldwasser, Barrett Wasson back: Isaac Schoof, John Douglas, Hannah Gennett and Lexis Duff NOTE: not shown Emily Hahn who did not attend (Chuck Gibson)

It truly is a special moment every year as the kids step up to read their poem. One special note of interest this year was the recognition of the Adult winner Lexis Duff who began her Loveland Valentine Poetry as a student and continued into adulthood crafting a winning Loveland Valentine Poem for the 13th time. It comes somewhat naturally for her; after all, she was born on February 14th – Valentine’s Day!

Loveland Castle was the inspiration for the Loveland Valentine Card design this year. (Chuck Gibson)

The Loveland Valentine card was unveiled during the festivities. The program’s  2024 Card Art Design winner was Lauren Connolly who shared a few words about how the Loveland Castle inspired her design. She and her husband John only moved to Loveland a little over 18 months ago, but have been enamored with the loving reception by the community.

Card artist Lauren Connolly with husband John and the card display (Chuck Gibson)

Happy Valentine’s Day everybody! Here are the poetry winners:

  • 2nd Grade:  Rachel Goldwasser
  • 2nd Grade:  Barrett Wasson
  • 3rd Grade:  Roman Lyke
  • 4th Grade:  Isaac Schoof
  • 4th Grade:  John Douglas
  • 6th Grade:  Hannah Gennett
  • 11th Grade: Emily Hahn
  • Adult:          Lexis Duff

It was good to see Pat Furterer – 2002 Valentine Lady in attendance (Chuck Gibson)

 

Smiles were seen all around and love filled the air once again as the 2024 Valentine’s Day Breakfast came to a close.

Now it’s onto the Hearts Afire weekend this Friday, February 9, thru Sunday, February 11, all around Loveland. Visit the City of Loveland website listed below for Hearts Afire details.

For Hearts Afire event details visit:

https://lovinlifeloveland.com/events/loveland-hearts-afire-weekend