What’s the first thing you do when the holiday season rolls around? You have a Holiday Party! And that is just what Hill Country Region (HCR) did on Saturday December 7. About 95 HCR members gathered at the The Hills Country Club in Lakeway for our annual holiday festivities. It was a great night.

Members arriving at the party contributed an unwrapped toy to be donated to the Lakeway Police Department Green Santa program. And did we ever deliver. When Lakeway Police Sergeant Eric Barto and Officer Zach Tatum arrived to pick up the toys, I wish you could have seen their faces. They realized they had to stuff over 50 toys into two Lakeway Police SUV patrol vehicles, but they were up to the task. What a great way to start the night.

As the guests enjoyed the reception followed by a prime rib and chicken dinner, our perennial emcee, Zac Evans, told everyone about our silent auction and raffle for our community service project, Mobile Loaves and Fishes. Barbara Robbins and Sheri von Briesen were busy selling raffle tickets as the guests entered the room. Several generous companies and individuals donated items for the raffle and silent auction. Among them were Porsche Austin, Hagerty Insurance, Torque Performance, Werks11, GT International, and HCR members Jonathan Hagar, Tuffy and Sheri von Briesen, and Lynn Friedman. Several lucky guests left the holiday party with various interesting items.

As the evening continued, HCR President Tuffy von Briesen announced the results of the election for the 2020 – 2021 terms. Those elected were Bruce Harris – Treasurer; Steve Guzman – Secretary; Charlie Sparks – Vice President and Tuffy von Briesen – President. Current Past President Lenny Zwik continues for the 2020 – 2021 term. Tuffy gave a sincere thank you to outgoing Vice President John Boutsikaris. John was a mainstay on the HCR Executive Council for the 2018 – 2019 term. He’ll be missed.

A highlight of the evening was Tuffy’s announcement of the recipients of the 2019 HCR awards. The first award was the John and Edie Musgrove Volunteer of the Year award. This award was presented to Hans Falk. Hans took over the position of HCR Historian in 2019 and has been busy identifying, amassing and documenting information about HCR. Hans started this effort with very little information and has done a tremendous job.

The next award was the Scott Smith Enthusiast of the Year award. Webster’s Dictionary defines an enthusiast as “one who is ardently attached to a cause, object, or pursuit; a sports car enthusiast (I didn’t add sports car enthusiast) and one who tends to become ardently absorbed in an interest”. As we canvassed the numerous HCR members to identify the most deserving recipient, one name kept coming to mind. This person embodied the true spirit of enthusiast. The award recipient was Edwin Mangalindan. Edwin is everywhere, always smiling and embodies the true spirit of an HCR enthusiast.

The final award of the night was presentation of the Rika Preuss Award for Exceptional Service. Rika was an exceptional person- always helping, always smiling, always there. The person we decided on for this award met the same criteria. Always there, always helping, always coming up with new ideas. This year’s award recipient was Gordie Robbins. Gordie was responsible for the New Members Orientation and Distinguished Speaker series just to name a few of his contributions. Well deserved.

All in all, this Holiday party was exceptional and enjoyed by all.