Nevada Broadcasters Association honors retired anchor Gary Waddell

Recently retired Las Vegas news anchor Gary Waddell was honored during the Nevada Broadcasters Association’s 17th annual Hall of Fame induction ceremony and dinner Aug. 18 at the Red Rock Resort.

The tribute to the former KLAS-TV, Channel 8, anchor included his introduction of "I Am a Broadcaster."

The evening also was dedicated to Northern Nevada first responders whose work included the Reno Air Race crash and forest fires. Accepting on their behalf were Aaron Kenneston, Washoe County emergency manager, and Adrienne Abbott, Nevada state chairwoman of the Emergency Alert System.

Nevada Broadcasters Association President and CEO Bob Fisher conceived and produced the event, which was led by Kristine Anderson of Lotus Broadcasting.

Among the guests at the reception and silent auction were Tom Axtell, Sharon Tinsley, Mary Sarah Kinner, Lee Solonche, Bruce Spotleson, Evelyn Cannestra, Steve Stallworth, William Taylor Sr., Calvert Collins, Bob Beers, Ryan Growney, Sharon McNair, Adam Stryker, Judy Reich and Gary Milby.

Before dinner was served, mistress of ceremonies Paula Francis of KLAS requested all veterans gather in front of the stage for special recognition.

Remembrance was given to J.K. Metzker, sports director at KTVN-TV, Channel 2, in Reno, who was killed by a hit-and-run driver in Nov. 2011. Accepting the award were his young sons, Tommy, Tanner and Luke Metzker.

The Community Achievement Award was presented to KCEP-FM (88.6). The Pinnacle Award was presented to Las Vegas Events, with Pat Christenson, LVE president, accepting the honor.

Nevada Broadcasters Association executive assistant Earlene Lefler was honored for her years of service to the organization. A tribute also was given to Dick Zaragoza for serving as the group’s Washington attorney for 18 years.

A special guest receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award was former U.S. Sen. Gordon Smith, R-Ore. Smith now serves as president and CEO of the National Association of Broadcasters.

The Bonnici family, Linda, Tony and Eric, introduced the 2012-13 Bonnici Scholarship recipients.

Tony Bonnici and Darrin McDonald conducted the live auction for six packages raising more than $7,000 for scholarships.

Thirty-six members were inducted into the Nevada Broadcasters Association’s Hall of Fame class of 2012.

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