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L-R: Judy Riviere, Marion C. “Bud” Riviere, Grace Larson, Woody Larson, Don James, Gib Coerper, Carol Yoho and Congressman Ted Yoho.

ALACHUA – It was another fun filled evening of laughter, good food and music at the 74th Annual Alachua Lions Club Cattlemen’s Banquet on March 28.

The locally renowned banquet is held each year at the Alachua Woman’s Club. Opening the banquet and welcoming guests was Alachua Lions Club President Don James, who then handed off the evening’s agenda to Master of Ceremonies Bud Riviere an Alachua native.

Before presenting the Cattleman’s award, longtime Alachua resident Ralph Cellon used his time at the podium to give a good ribbing to the dozens of politicians in attendance, bringing the room filled with hundreds of people to roaring and constant laughter. As a lifelong resident of Alachua and former City of Alachua mayor and Alachua County commissioner, among numerous other posts, Cellon offered rousing commentary on a seemingly endless line of people. Nevertheless, each person took Cellon’s classic deadpan comedic style in stride.

Even Woody Larson, the 2013 Cattleman of the Year award recipient, was not spared from Cellon’s barbs. Larson resides in Okochobee, Fla. and is the current president of the Florida Cattlemen’s Association.

Keynote Speaker U.S. Congressman Ted Yoho also shared a few humorous stories with the audience as he detailed his experiences since being recently elected to the United States House of Representatives. A longtime resident of Gainesville, Yoho is a large animal veterinarian and now as a congressman represents the 3rd Congressional District, which includes portions of Alachua, Union, Gilchrist, Bradford, Marion, Clay, Suwannee, Dixie, Lafayette, Columbia, Levy, Madison and Hamilton counties.

Providing musical entertainment during dinner was Zack Emerson, Patrick Oberlin and Jessie Curtis, who played an array of musical pieces in jazz style. Also providing entertainment was Gussie Lee.

In keeping with tradition, the Santa Fe High School Chapter of FFA was on hand to serve up the choice aged controlled steaks, baked potatoes and dessert.

The Cattlemen’s Banquet is the Alachua Lions Club’s largest fundraiser of the year, and all profits from the banquet support charitable sight, hearing, youth and community service activities.

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