As a reward for being named La Cañadan of the Year, Terry Walker received plenty of praise Wednesday afternoon — even if she had to withstand a bit of ribbing on the way.
More than 100 people came to the La Cañada Kiwanis Club's tribute to Walker at Descanso Gardens, including four City Council members, Crescenta Valley Sheriff's Capt. David Silversparre and Walker's parents, who were celebrating their 70th wedding anniversary.
Walker, whose accomplishments include three years as president of the La Cañada Flintridge Chamber of Commerce, launching the weekly farmers market, adding snow and reindeer to the Festival in Lights, and helping at her husband Woody's pet clinic, knew she was in for a roast.
Her sister, Kathy Hughes, told the crowd that Walker told her, “The good news is, I've been awarded La Cañadan of the Year. The bad news is, they're having a luncheon and you get to speak.”
Past Chamber of Commerce President Pat Anderson, who was hired when Walker served on the chamber's executive committee in 1992, got a big laugh with her opening remarks.
“Dog, cat, bird, cute, Woody, chamber … these are the words Terry can spell,” Anderson said.
Other speakers included current chamber President Wes Seastrom, his wife Jennifer and Councilman Dave Spence.
Walker was feted as much for her physical endurance as for her community service.
Woody Walker said that when his and Terry's two sons were involved with Boy Scout Troop 507, Terry was right there with them, from a 50-mile backpacking trip across the Sierra to a 100-mile canoe ride through Minnesota and even a manure-sale fundraiser.
“One thing that came out of the manure sale was, she not only managed the spreadsheets and such, but she schlepped it,” he said. “She'd pick those 50-pound bags up, sling them on her shoulder and say, ‘Let's go, Scouts.'”
A La Cañada resident for 31 years, Walker retired two years ago to work at the La Cañada Pet Clinic, but her community involvement hasn't slowed at all.
Walker serves as the chair of the city's Public Works and Traffic Commission, is co-chair of the chamber's centennial celebration and serves on the board of directors at the Crescenta-Cañada YMCA.
At the conclusion of the ceremony, Walker thanked everyone who gave a speech — even those who gave her a hard time — and remarked on what an honor it was to receive the award.
“There are so many in our community that deserve this recognition, and I share it with them,” she said.