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Magee, Lake Lawn, LGRN to be honored


Lake Geneva Chamber of Commerce holding annual meeting



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LARRY AND VERN MAGEE at the Geneva Lake Museum in December 2010 standing near his Ford Model A. The late Larry Magee will be honored at the chamber event.

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August 27, 2013 | 01:07 PM
Three awards will be handed out by the Geneva Lake Area Chamber of Commerce at its annual meeting Sept. 11.

The award for Outstanding Citizen is going to Larry Magee, who died earlier this year.

His wife, Vern, will accept the award.

Magee lived in Lake Geneva nearly his entire life having moved from Fennimore when he was 10 years old.

He went to school, married, raised his family and worked in southeastern Wisconsin for the telephone company.

Magee “dedicated much of his retirement years to giving back to the community,” according to a press release from the chamber.

“Larry knew every back road (and county letter designation) and ‘shortcut’ through his work in the area,” the press release said.

He did telephone work on many of the old lakeshore estates and was involved in the telephone wiring during the building of Grand Geneva (formerly the Playboy Club).

Larry enjoyed traveling, but Lake Geneva was always home.

“He recognized that a community is a reflection of the people and as such, it was his thoughtfulness and care of the town where he was educated, worked and raised his family that prompted him to run for alderman of the Lake Geneva City Council,” the chamber said. “As anyone who has served in a leadership role for a municipality, a church or any nonprofit, the leadership jobs are labors of love and demand much time and patience with a true long-term vision balanced with a diligence to accomplish results in the short-term. Larry did just this for Lake Geneva and all the citizens.”

He served on the city council from 1994 to 1998 and again from 2002-2008. He was the mayor’s aldermanic representative on the utility commission from 2004-2008 and on a variety of city committees.

When he was on the council, Magee supported the renovation of the Riviera Beach House, a beautiful new beach entrance building, enhanced sidewalks around Library Park, a new city hall and police headquarters, an additional water tower for the growing population, an attractive and functional business industrial park, numerous public spaces for children and the city’s support of the Geneva Lake Museum.

When Magee’s term ended in 2008, he continued to serve the community and was appointed as a citizen representative on the utility commission acting as the secretary at the time of his death in April.

“Larry was conscientious of his responsibilities and duties of the volunteer work entrusted to him,” the press release said.

“If you ask those who worked with him or anyone who talked with him about a Lake Geneva topic, he listened, he thought about the varied perspectives and he was always looking toward the benefit of the community now and for the future. Larry was a citizen who enjoyed living in this area and gave freely of his time so others could enjoy it, too.”

The 2013 Community Betterment Award recipient is John Halverson/ Lake Geneva Regional News.

The chamber press release noted that Halverson, the general manager and editor of the Regional News has spent almost 40 years in the newspaper business. He worked on both daily and weekly papers as a reporter, columnist, editor and general manager.

He was general manager of The Week, a Walworth County feature paper, for almost 20 years.

Halverson joined the Lake Geneva Regional News in 2009 as general manager. Editor was added to his title in 2012.

The Regional News has won several state and national awards, including the general excellence award recognizing it as the best paper in the state of its size when judged against other papers for editorial quality.

Besides the general excellence award, it also won first place in its circulation class for “Web Excellence” In addition, the paper’s ReelLifeTV product won two firsts.

The 2013 Lake Geneva Convention & Visitors Bureau Hospitality Award recipient is the Lake Lawn Resort.

“Since reopening under new management in 2011, Lake Lawn has received more than $7 million in capital improvements, renovations and additions,” the press release said.

Facilities have expanded to include the full-service Calladora Spa, Isle of Capri Café, and Lakewood complex featuring 48 rooms and suites along with a new outdoor pool and lakeside fire pit.

Lake Lawn has also updated its lobby and main entrance, expanded the golf pro-shop, added new pontoons and speedboats to their marina’s fleet, and relocated their fitness center to provide sweeping lake views.

Lake Lawn’s grounds have been transformed through beautification efforts such as the addition of 200 new trees, vibrant landscaping along the front drive and planting of colorful flowerbeds throughout.

Chamber President John Stensland welcomes the opportunity to join all Lake Geneva area residents and congratulate this year’s award recipients.

The event is from 6 to 8:30 p.m. at Grand Geneva. It is open to the public; a fee is charged.

Evening arrangements include a dinner buffet. Wine and beer are included. Cocktails are available for purchase. Additional information and tickets are available from the Chamber at 201 Wrigley Drive, Lake Geneva or by calling (262) 248-4416.

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