COLA honors Star Lake Association
The Otter Tail County Coalition of Lake Associations (COLA) has named the Star Lake Property Owners Association with COLA's annual Association of the Year Award.
This award was presented August 17 at the community center in Ottertail.
At the same evening gathering, COLA presented Brenda Ebanks with the Volunteer of the Year Award. She is communications director for the Star Lake Property Owners Association.
In addition, she is an active participant with most events associated with the Star Lake Property Owners Association.
COLA is organized to facilitate cooperation among member lake and river associations in Otter Tail County.
The goal of COLA is to have member associations join together to help keep waterways clean and free of pollutants. COLA makes special efforts to prevent the spread of invasive species.
Star Lake Association
The Star Lake Property Owners Association, with close to 200 members, is innovative in its approach to serving members. They are in the process of finalizing plans to install solar lighting at the main public access.
The association works closely with the Star Lake Concerned Citizens Group regarding the proposed casino project and environmental impacts on Star Lake.
With many volunteers, the association is able to complete projects to enhance the lake's use.
Through its subcommittees, the Star Lake Property Owners Association continues to conduct water quality testing, setting of safety buoys, cleaning of a section of Highway 41 and providing information to membership on invasive species.
"The association has a mission to preserve the natural resources of Star Lake," notes COLA education coordinator Jerry Horgen. "This includes excellent water quality, a bountiful fishery, natural wildlife haven and orderly and proper development."
To promote social interaction among lake association members, the Star Lake Property Owners Association not only holds an annual meeting breakfast but also promotes a lake-wide picnic and July 4 boat and pontoon parade.
"It has been an active and challenging year for the association, headed by President Eric Peters," said Horgen. "We commend them for all of their dedicated work here in Otter Tail County."
As the recipient of the Volunteer of the Year Award, Ebanks is praised for her more than 15 years of loyal service as communications director for the Star Lake Property Owners Association.
On a volunteer basis, she publishes email blasts covering many current issues of keen interest to association members.
She can be counted on to participate in ditch cleanup along Highway 41 near Star Lake and taking part in many lake association activities.
"Protecting the lakes is simply the right thing to do," she said after accepting the award.
Ebanks voluntarily maintains the website of the Star Lake Concerned Citizens Group which closely monitors activities related to the proposed casino at Star Lake.
"She is active as a volunteer with the Star Lake Township and with her husband, Aubrey, is praised by many people as an outstanding resident who exemplifies the best in citizenship," says COLA's Jerry Horgen.
She is widely referred to as Mrs. Star Lake.
"There's not much that happens around the lake that she doesn't know about," says Horgen. "Brenda certainly is a role model as a volunteer."
Adds Lee Mindemann, Star Lake Township board chairman: "There's not a person at Star Lake who deserves the Volunteer of the Year Award more than Brenda."