On March 5, 2005 in honor of their fifth season and in appreciation of the community support, the Osage Community Players, Inc, held the OCP Awards and Gala. The entire community was welcome to attend the gala with written invitations being sent to anyone who has donated time, talent, financially or in any other way assisted in the creation and sustaining the Osage Community Players, Inc.
A. J. Probst and Sandy Schaefer emceed the event and began the evening with a warm welcome and the unveiling of the OCP Award the "Rita." The "Rita" award was named after founder Rita Starnes who lead the organization of the community theater and continues to actively participate in the theatre, most recently directing the current production, Squabbles. The Rita Awards were presented to individuals based on the Friday and Saturday audience of Squabbles voting by ballot on a variety of categories.
Due to the generosity of sponsors and supporters, OCP has flourished and has always operated in the black. During the gala six Distinguished Supporters were recognized during the evening: the AJ Schwartze Foundation; Dr. Craig Starnes, DDS; Linn State Bank and the Branches; the Osage County Community Center managed by the Linn State Technical College Foundation; Linda and Homer Maassen and Three Rivers Electric Co-op.
Volunteer recognition was given to all of the community members who have assisted or contributed in anyway during the OCP Inc.'s first five years. Five Distinguished Volunteers were recognized during the evening for contributing their time and talent: Joyce Symmonds, Mark Kloeppel, Dave Christ, Tammy Paris and Corey Paris.
One more award was given at the gala to Rita Starnes in honor of her being the guiding force in founding the Osage Community Players, Inc. She became the first recipient of the Founder's Award with plans for the award to be given at future anniversary celebrations to honor individuals who have nurtured and encouraged the growth and continuance of the Osage Community Players, Inc.
Download the zipped collection of all pictures from the Gala! (34MB)
Rita Starnes receives the first founder's award.
The hosts for the 2005 Gala were AJ Probst and Sandy Schafer.
John Deeken and Mark Kloeppel receive an award for set design and construction.
Dave Christ receives a Rita for best actor.
Lisa Klebba and Janet Baker receive thank you gifts from Rita Starnes for their work in organizing the Gala.
Members of the Schwartze Foundation receive a plaque in appreciation of their support.
Joyce Symmonds receives a Rita as a distinguished volunteer.
Caroline Pearon and her daughters Carrie Grelner and Connie Shoemaker show off their Ritas with their family.
Rita, Craig and Ryan Starnes posed before the OCP logo at the Gala.
Mark Kloeppel, Corey Paris, Dave Christ, Brandy and Darrel Powel.
Corey and Tammy Paris show off their Rita's at the Gala.
The Gala ushers, Christian Baker and Luke Probst.
Pat Muenks served drinks at the Gala.
Glenda and Terry Whitney at the Gala.
Guests arrive on the red carpet on the Gala.
Roger Kloeppel accepts his Rita for best supporting role at the Gala.