Published July 21st, 2010
The Spirit of Moraga
By Sophie Braccini
Chief Priebe (right) gives a token of appreciation to Lonnie and Chuck Treat. Photo Sophie Braccini
After a very hot mid-July day, many residents elected to go to the Commons Park last Thursday evening for some relaxation. A slightly cooler wind was starting to blow away the day's heat as teams of Bocce ball players gathered under the trees, playing their favorite game and sharing a picnic. Young Frisbee players in small groups played along the 9-hole course on the freshly ploughed hills. Alongside the trail a gopher gnawed at the root of a giant weed, making it dance. On the main lawn, hundreds of residents settled on chairs and blankets to listen to the free concert of the night by the upbeat band Moonalice.

At intermission, something a little different took place. The Town had decided to give a big official farewell to Lonnie and Chuck Treat, two retired Moraga residents who volunteered countless hours in town and are leaving for Tucson for family reasons. "Chuck and Lonnie should have been Citizens of the Year next year," Council Member Howard Harpham said at the previous night's Council meeting, "but they are leaving us too soon so we will honor them on July 15th at the Commons." The venue was well chosen, since both of them have contributed greatly to the Moraga Parks Foundation that raises funds and organizes those popular free summer concerts. The couple personifies the best of this town, a spirit of giving and camaraderie, and they will be missed.

Among other things, Chuck Treat was twice the president of the Moraga Park Foundation; he was President of the Moraga Valley Kiwanis, and sat on countless committees, including the new Traffic and Safety Advisory Committee. Lonnie was a member of the Park Foundation, officer of the Hacienda Foundation, and chair of the snack bar at the concert series.

The first one to speak at the event was Harpham, who gave the couple a card on behalf of all their friends. "You have given so much to us, this is just a small token of our appreciation," he said. Vice-Mayor Karen Mendonca recalled that for the 19 years she has been here, she remembered the Treats' support of every community event. Police Chief Bob Priebe took the stage to offer the Police Department's first-ever official gift to civilians, "You have supported the force on so many occasions," he said.

"So many events and projects in the town of Moraga depend on volunteers to make them possible," commented resident Judy Dinkle, "Chuck and Lonnie Treat are the very best example of people who continuously give their time and talent for the betterment of the community, and they are volunteers extraordinaire. The Park Foundation and Hacienda Foundation have been the happy recipients of their time and talents for years. We will all miss them and all that they contribute; and we wish them well in their new home in Tucson."

Bob Reynolds, their friend and partner in many community projects, was obviously sad to see them go. "I will miss them from a personal stand point," he later commented, "but it is a terrible loss for the community, there are things that will not be done because they won't be here."

Lonnie Treat was clearly grateful for the community she lived in. "If you want to add satisfaction to your life, volunteer in the community," she recommended, "we have met so many wonderful people and we owe you a lot." As a last community service, the couple brought cakes that they sliced and served to all.

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Copyright Lamorinda Weekly, Moraga CA