KATONAH, N.Y. – More than 400 Bedford residents braved the snow and icy roads Saturday night to salute former Town Supervisor Lee Roberts.
The event was hosted by Bedford 2020 at The Harvey School in Katonah. Roberts stepped down in December after 12 years as town supervisor and 20 years in public office.
“I would have little identity in Bedford without Lee,” joked her husband, Ken.
The two moved to Bedford 42 years ago, and Ken said that they would often drive around and Lee would remark that the town was the best town in the country. “I’m so proud that not only did she say it, she got involved and gave back to the town she cared so much about.”
Dozens of organizations donated prizes for a silent auction, with proceeds benefiting Bedford 2020. As a tribute to Roberts’s signature high heels, a “Best in Shoe” competition was held, where many community groups created artistic interpretations of shoes that express the mission of their organization. The Antioch Baptist Church Choir performed a musical salute to Roberts.
“What is it about Lee that has brought all of us out here tonight?” said Ellen Conrad, one of the co-founders of Bedford 2020. “Maybe her kindness and warmth. Perhaps her leadership characterized by a calm, assertiveness, a clear sense of what needs to be done, and expectation for action, all for the benefit of the community. I think it’s all of the above and more.”
Roberts’s entire family, including her siblings, children and mother, were all in attendance. During the event she could barely go a second without someone coming up to her, hugging her and congratulating her on her service. She said she was amazed by the turnout.
“I am overwhelmed by the tremendous outpouring of civic pride and community spirit shown here tonight. It is not often that you have everyone you love the most in the same room together,” Roberts said.
As part of a tribute to her service and her passion for the environment, Bedford 2020 co-founder Mary Beth Cass said a tree would be planted in Roberts’s honor.
“Whatever we choose, we want it to be like you: strong, long-lasting, beautiful and good for the environment.”