NEW ULM - Roberta "Bobbi" McCrea will be honored this year as the 2012 New Ulm Athena Award recipient, the first time the award has been given posthumously.
McCrea was the owner of the Bohemian Bed & Breakfast in New Ulm. She and her two daughters, Abby Wood and Savannah McCrea, were among the six victims of the July 2 fire that destroyed the historic home on German Street last year.
The New Ulm Chamber of Commerce and Jensen Motors announced the award recipient on Friday in a ceremony at the Chamber.
Staff photo by Kevin Sweeney
The late Bobbi McCrea was named the recipient of the 2012 Athena Award at a ceremony at the Chamber of Commerce on Friday. From left are Lisa Besemer, from the Chamber; Ruth McCrea Simpson, Bobbi’s mother; and Jyneal McCrea, Bobbi’s sister. In the foreground are past Athena Award winners Shirley Jo Meidl, Kathleen Berg, Donna Lambrecht and Anne Makepeace.
Lisa Besemer, representing the Chamber, presented the Athena Award trophy to Ruth McCrea Simpson, Bobbi's mother, and her sister, Jyneal McCrea. Besemer said that McCrea truly fit the ideals of the Athena Award, which is presented annually to a woman who exhibits professional excellence, community service, and who actively assists women in their attainment of professional excellence and leadership skills.
Besemer cited the nominations for McCrea, which pointed out her gracious hospitality as an innkeeper, her work with children with emotional and behavioural problems at Riverben Alternative Learning Center, her promotion of New Ulm and her support of the theater arts, and of local historic organizations.
"Bobbi loved New Ulm, she really, truly did," her mother said after the presentation. Bobbi had a gift for connecting with people - after the tragic fire Mrs. Simpson heard from many people, including those who knew Bobbi only from spending one night at the Bohemian.
"She had a gift - when you met her, you never forgot her. I wish everyone had the opportunity to meet her just once."
The Chamber announced an evening banquet will be held on May 21 at the New Ulm Country Club, where people will be able to share their memories of Bobbi McCrea. The event will begin with a social hour at 6 p.m., with dinner and the program beginning at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are available at the New Ulm Chamber of Commerce, 1 N. Minnesota St.