Perhaps the most emotional moment during the West Yuma County Chamber of Commerce’s recent 2018 Red Carpet Dinner and Business Excellence Awards event was when Delaina Klein was announced as the Citizen of the Year.

Klein received a spontaneous standing ovation as she went up to receive the prestigious award.

It definitely was richly deserved.

Delaina is a lifelong active member of the Yuma community. The daughter of Merle and Hazel Gardner, she grew up on the family’s Spitoon Ranch west of Eckley, graduating from Yuma High School in 1969. She and husband Gerland were married in 1971, raising three sons on the family farm and now are proud grandparents.

Delaina was active in 4-H as a youth, and continued her association as adult, serving as a 4-H leader. She has been active through the decades in her church, St. Johns Lutheran, and has been a valuable and dedicated member of the Chamber Board of Directors for the past several years.

Citizen of the Year Delaina Klein and husband Gerland share a moment after she received the award at the Chamber banquet. (Courtesy Photo)

She also has been a valuable and dedicated employee of Yuma Life Care Center since February 1984.

The Chamber, along with many Yuma residents, feel that she deserved the Citizen of the Year Award for her outstanding involvement in the community, and never-ending generosity of her time.

Whether it be leading 4-H groups or ringing bells at Church on Sunday, Delaina has most likely done it. She is always willing to help and never looks for an excuse. She has given back to the community in so many ways, and we thank her for that.