Longtime Arroyo Grande resident Linda Osty, whose work with the Rotary Club of Pismo Beach-Five Cities has been called “legendary,” has been named the Arroyo Grande Chamber of Commerce citizen of the year.
Osty of Osty Insurance was surprised with the honor at a Rotary Club meeting.
“Rarely am I speechless,” she said. “It did not last long, but I was.”
Chamber officials will honor Osty on Thursday at the organization’s 50th annual dinner. They will also present the Ken Talley Award to Carol Rust, a longtime board member of the South County Performing Arts Foundation, also known as the Clark Center Foundation.
The Ken Talley Award is given to an organization or person who has made a strong contribution to character-building programs for youth.
Rust is being recognized for her efforts to promote the performing arts through educational grants and student scholarships, said Judith Bean, chamber president/CEO.
Rust has administered 69 grants to teachers, groups and individuals to expand educational opportunities and awarded scholarships to 32 students.
She and her husband, Bill, moved to the Central Coast in 1959.
Osty was born in San Luis Obispo but raised in the Midwest. She and husband Ken moved back to Arroyo Grande about 25 years ago, and she’s owned Osty Insurance in the Arroyo Grande Village for 17 years.
She has served as president of the South County Historical Society, was on the board of the Arroyo Grande Chamber of Commerce and was master of ceremonies for the Grover Beach Christmas parade.
Osty has also been involved with the Rotary Club of Pismo Beach-Five Cities for about 12 years. Bean said Osty consistently purchases children’s gifts for the club to give away to low-income children during the holidays.
About eight years ago, Osty started writing postcards and sending them to troops from the Central Coast who are serving in Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay, to “remind them of home.” She also sends care packages that now include baked goods and small gifts in conjunction with the Pismo Coast Association of Realtors and the Military Parents of the Central Coast.
“Linda is truly deserving of this award,” said Nan Fowler, of Nan’s Pre-Owned Books, who nominated Osty for Citizen of the Year.
The dinner will start at 5 p.m. at the South County Regional Center, 800 W. Branch St. in Arroyo Grande. Tickets are $60. For more information or to purchase tickets, call 489-1488.
— Cynthia Lambert