Elected officials from Loveland to Felicity gathered at the Grant Career Center for the 59th annual Clermont County Township Association Annual Banquet.
After a meal prepared by the Grant Vocational Culinary Class that earned a standing ovation, the evening’s guest speaker, former Cincinnati Bengals offensive guard and current color commentator Dave Lapham, addressed the meeting.
Lapham regaled the crowd with his take on this year’s Bengals spring training and tales from his days with one of two Bengal teams to make a Super Bowl appearance.
"I'm encouraged," Lapham said. "They upgraded in two areas they needed to upgrade."
Lapham detailed some of his experiences lined up against the likes of Louie Kelcher of the San Diego Chargers and "Mean" Joe Green of the Pittsburgh Steelers.
He talked about the 1981 "Freezer Bowl" AFC Championship Game against the Chargers. Lapham said the offensive linemen decided to intimidate their opponents by not wearing sleeves and rubbing Vaseline on their arms to keep warm. Chargers defensive lineman Gary "Big Hands" Johnson was known for grabbing his opponents and tossing them aside on his way to a tackle, and Lapham said the Vaseline really threw him off his game. By half-time the Bengals were up 17 to 7.
"The second half was just pure Darwinism," Lapham said. "It was survival of the fittest."
The Bengals went on to win the game and face off against the San Francisco 49ers at the Pontiac Silverdome in Super Bowl XVI. As any good fan remembers, the Bengals lost the game 26-21.
"We beat ourselves in 81," Lapham said.
Lapham also promoted the annual golf tournament in support of the Down Syndrome Association of Greater Cincinnati that he sponsors each year. The tournament will be June 22 at Shaker Run Golf Course. The CCTA made a donation to the cause and placed a bucket at the door so that attendees could also donate.
The CCTA's annual Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Louis Moore. Moore was a Batavia Township Trustee from 1962 to 1997.
Moore thanked the trustees for the recognition and encouraged the next generation to take an active role in American politics.
"Grandparents, encourage your grandchildren to get into politics," Moore said. "It is wonderful."
CCTA President Lee Cornett gave an update on the organization's activities. He said one of his goals for the year is to address the problem of white-tail deer overpopulation in the county. Cornett said several trustees met with Ohio Department of Natural Resources representatives in Green County and state Representative Joe Uecker has been working to ensure that the state government is aware of the problem.
The Ohio Township Association's local government reform commission report should be available by July 1. The commission was organized as part of House Bill 1 last year and is designed to streamline local government.
In addition to Lapham, the more the 300 attendees were treated to music from Melissa Kuykendall, who sung the national anthem, and free caricature drawings.
Town Crier Bill Knepp was also on hand to kick off the evening's festivities.