By Fleet Capt. Dave Mason
WOODLAND HILLS — “So say we all!”
USS Angeles members said that in unison after my toast to Renee Wike, who has served the club well as our associate community service director, party co-host, newsletter contributor and active Command Staff member.
The toast of sparkling cider took place during our annual Winter Holiday Party Dec. 2, which
was not a farewell to Renee, but a hearty “until we meet again.” Renee is moving soon to Virginia to be near her family as she continues to recover from her stroke.
The evening at the Cultural Hall at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in Woodland Hills included the presentation of special memory albums, created by Karen Hoagland, a Command Staff member who has directed our community service projects and co-hosted Starbase Karen parties with Renee and Chris Mulrooney.
Renee received a lot of love and praise during the evening and a surprise visit from a Ferengi, who led members and her friends outside the Angeles in singing “Happy Birthday!”
The party also featured the presentation of community service awards, the Order of Sarek, for those who have helped Renee: Brian Nomi. Chris Mulrooney, Lisa Sobien and Karen. I had the pleasure of giving them the awards.
I also presented Order of Sarek awards to Paul Szymborski, Kathy Carder and Jay Gerber for their participation in the USS Angeles AIDS Walk Los Angeles team. The group raised more than $750 to help APLA Health’s efforts for AIDS and HIV-positive patients.
And Order of Neelix awards went to Karen, Jeremy Kranz, Cliff and Donna Gardner and Founder Janice Willcocks for hosting parties.
Jeremy, our recruitment officer and a Command Staff member, received the James T. Kirk Order of Merit for Original Thinking for his ideas, including the creation of an effective and creative recruitment brochure.
And I presented the Keiko O’Brien Commendation to significant others for their support of members to Donna Gardner, Cliff
‘s wife; Rona Yang Wang, Jeremy’s wife; and Lisa Sobien, my girlfriend.
I also promoted Lisa to ensign, Kathy to lieutenant j.g. and Jackie Freeman to full lieutenant for their service to the Angeles.
As the awards ceremony neared its conclusion,
I presented the Great Bird of the Galaxy awards to First Officer Gloria Rodriguez and Second Officer Jennifer Cole for their outstanding leadership and contributions.
Afterward, I talked about Renee and what she has meant to us. I presented a framed certificate of the Great Bird of the Galaxy award to Renee.
As I talked and gave a toast, Renee had tears of joy and said she was happy.
Following the awards, we had an enthusiastic gift exchange in which members could steal a gift three times before it became locked. Our members stole gifts with great holiday spirit!
It was a fun evening, with thanks going to Karen for organizing the party and all the Command Staff and crew members who helped her.
Most of all, we were happy to honor our friend, Renee, and look forward to her future visits. The Angeles will always be her home.
More photos will appear later on this website (check every so often on this post) and in the March issue of Angels Flight, our newsletter.