Sandra Okamoto, a 39-year veteran of the Ledger-Enquirer, was honored by the Springer Opera House at its annual season announcement Thursday night.
A longtime arts reporter for the Ledger-Enquirer, Okamoto retired in January. She started working at the newspaper in January of 1975.
"This is my 26th season here and pretty much every show that I've done in 26 years, Sandra covered -- plus all of the events, all of the things that happened here, season announcements, an important hiring, a death in the family," said Springer Artistic Director Paul Pierce. "All of the things that happen in an arts community, Sandra had been a part of in our theater community."
Okamoto accepted her award Thursday to loud applause; behind her on stage, different pictures scrolled from throughout her career.
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"This is an award that usually goes to a major donor, an actor, a longtime board member, a super volunteer -- and I'm none of those," Okamoto said. "I'm also not an actor, a singer, a dancer, a painter. I can't even play an instrument. But I can write about all those people who did and that's what I did for almost 40 years and I loved it."
Okamoto will be honored with a star in the Springer Theatre Academy's education center.