DEER LODGE — A Deer Lodge couple known for their contributions to the community received the Patty Flynn Memorial Lifetime Achievement Award at the Powell County Chamber awards program this week.
The award was given to lifelong residents Ron and Joyce Scharf for their tenacity, caring for others, and friendliness.
Working side by side, over the years they have built and managed three restaurants, a motel, and KOA campground as well as being involved with many community activities, and according to Joyce, they have no intentions of retiring.
The Scharfs are dedicated to Deer Lodge and often say, "What can we do to help?"
Ron was instrumental in the creation of the Deer Park Golf Course built in 1957 and started a business group that later became the Chamber of Commerce.
"As a community, we need to look at the half-full glass of water and focus on the positives of Deer Lodge and what it has to offer and not dwell on the past," he said.
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Other awards presented:
Lynn Johnson — Spotlight Award for her efforts toward the betterment of Deer Lodge. Johnson manages three businesses and leads a workout group at the local fitness center. She has supported local youth for many years through the Powell High School Booster Club and participation with the Close Up Organization.
Jacque Lavelle — Community Enhancement Award. Lavelle, who with her husband Jeff moved to Deer Lodge in 2013, quickly became active in the community. She is a board member and volunteer with Jeff at the Rialto Theatre. As a Deer Lodge Shooting Association board member, she was instrumental in getting the NRA-approved shooting range for local residents. As Grant-Kohrs Ranch superintendent, she promotes recreational trails on the ranch and community as well as being a member of the Women's Club and the Garrison Fire department and an active supporter of community events.
The keynote speaker was Joe Moriarty, who grew up in Deer Lodge and has spent his career as a teacher, principal, coach, professor, and education consultant to the Office of Public Instruction.
Moriarty challenged the chamber members to get excited about change and move in a positive direction.
"Growth does not just happen; it takes hard work," he said.