Monday, January 17, 2011

Chief Bill Markgraf's retirement

Sunday January 16, 2011 - Well yesterday was an exciting day for a fellow Ambassador. Chief Bill Markgraf was retiring from the Columbia Fire Department after 22 years of being the Chief. Ambassador's are a small family of our own and since becoming an Ambassador in 2008 I have had the opportunity to get to know Chief. He is a great man who served our city well. If you are an Ambassador, no celebration is complete with out a ribbon cutting!
I had the honor of speaking prior to his ribbon cutting. Chief: Markgraf became an Ambassador in November 1994. During those 17 years he has had the prestigious honor of having a tree dedicated in his name, which is located at Columbia College. He chose to have a lilac bush rather than a tree, and he is less than 300 points from his second tree which is a real honor of his dedication to the Columbia Chamber of Commerce Ambassadors. We wouldn't miss his retirement reception and we are glad he wanted us here to celebrate the next chapter of his life. Good luck with retirement Chief and enjoy time spent traveling with your wife!
(Chief Markgraf and his wife, Linda) "Chief Markgraf's retiring.... smile.... cut!"
Chief was having a good time listening to all that spoke and presented him with some wonderful awards, plaques and special made pieces. It really was a nice reception and about 250 were in attendance.
A few of his plaques....
This was a grill from a fire truck turned into a clock from the makers of the fire engines (pretty cool)
This was a really neat gift from the crew from the USS Missouri in which they flew a flag (in the center) in Chief Markgraf's honor on December 7, 2010 over the USS Missouri, USS Columbia and others and gave to him with all the appropriate certificates. He was very honored to receive this. He said with all these wonderful gifts he might have to add onto his house! It was a great time and was a wonderful way to see someone retire from our community. Congratulations Chief Bill Markgraf and enjoy sleeping in! :)

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