A total of 240 guests enjoyed the 11th Annual Elegant Evening hosted by the Camdenton Foundation Friday night. Serving the district for more than eleven years, the Foundation has distributed more than $120,000 toward scholarships to graduating seniors and educators, classroom grants, individual outstanding students awards for those who participate extensively in the Elegant Evening and other worthy activities that fall outside the district's operating budget.
One of the key moments of the annual Elegant Evening is the induction of the newest members to the Hall of Leaders.
This year's inductees are both long time supporters of the Camdenton R-III school district.
The Honorable Judge James A. Franklin, Jr., was a dedicated and respected member of the Camdenton community, serving a distinguished law career in Camden County and in the 26th Judicial Circuit Court. Judge Franklin graduated from Camdenton High School in 1966, and was a Magna Cum Laude graduate of Drury University in Springfield, Missouri, and received his Juris Doctorate in the class of 1975 from the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law.
Along with his unwavering devotion to the people of the 26th Judicial Circuit, Franklin also served on the Board of Directors of Central Bank of Lake of the Ozarks, Board of Directors of the Camden County Library, including the development and construction of the new Camdenton Library, and was a Charter Member of the Camdenton United Methodist Church.
Judge Franklin was a loving husband to Julie Robertson Franklin, and the doting father of his two daughters, Stephanie Franklin Shrauger and Andrea Franklin. He is sorely missed by his family, friends, and patrons of this community. The Foundation honored Judge Franklin posthumously as a Hall of Leaders Distinguished Alumni.
The other inductee, James T. Herfurth, served the lake community for more than 16 years before his retirement as president and CEO from Central Bank of Lake of the Ozarks in 2004.
Herfurth graduated from the University of Missouri with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. After a brief time with IBM, he served on active duty as a second lieutenant in the Army Artillery School at Fort Sill, Okla., from 1960 through 1963. He elected to stay in the Ready Reserve until 1987, retiring at the rank of colonel.
In 1987, Herfurth moved to the lake area and was elected president and CEO of Central Bank of the Lake of the Ozarks. Herfurth has been active in several initiatives that have benefited the Camdenton R-III school district and its patrons. He was actively involved as chairman of the CARE Committee for the bond issue that built the additions at the outlying schools and also supported the bond issue that brought the new high school to Camdenton. He could always be counted on to support the efforts of the District in both facility expansion and curriculum development.
Page 2 of 2 - As a member of the advisory committee to the Missouri Highway and Transportation Commission, Herfurth also chaired the Citizens Committee for Osage Beach Five-Lane in 1991. He was founder and chairman of the Lake of the Ozarks Transportation Council from 1994 to 2007. Through his support and leadership, the bypass in Osage Beach has been completed, and Highway 5 has been improved south to Lebanon and north toward Laurie.
Herfurth has also been active in the founding and building of the Tri-County YMCA. He was awarded the "Director's Cup" by the Lake Area Chamber of Commerce as well as the "Spirit of the Lake" award from the Camdenton Chamber of Commerce. Both awards were for his contribution to the economic development of the Lake community.
Hundreds of Camdenton R-III students contributed to the event. Art was on display from students ranging from kindergarten to senior in high school. 95 students were present at the Elegant Evening and participated by serving during the event, prepared the meal and featured displays from robotics and science departments. Culinary students not only prepared and served the night's meal but also performed a demo for attendees. Other entertainment included dramatic scenes from drama department students and Bel Cantos Chorale and CHS jazz band performances.
"After experiencing this past Elegant Evening and these amazing students' talents, how could you not be extremely proud of our School District? Proud of our teachers, administration, staff, community, volunteers, alumni and most importantly our students. We truly have a lot to be thankful for in the Camdenton R-III School District," John Porth, Camdenton Education Foundation President, said.
For some residents, the Elegant Evening has become a tradition. Brian and Marcheta Keedy raised three children in the district and even though their students have graduated, they have attended the Elegant Evening for five years.
"It has become one of my very favorite events. I love seeing the talent of these kids. It's amazing to me that we have kids in the district that are so talented," Marcheta said. "It's a part of the community here. I think we are all proud of our school. The sense of community of Camdenton comes from our school. I still go to sporting events. It's a source of pride for this community."