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East County News Service

March 2, 2016 (La Mesa) - The La Mesa Chamber of Commerce held its 8th annual Salute to Local Heroes on Wednesday, February 24th at the Town & Country Hotel--and celebrated its own group of “Oscar” winners with a Mardi Gras themed event.

“This year’s seven heroes are as important to our community as any `best picture' or ‘best actor,'” says Chamber President Mary England. “They have made a tremendous impact on the lives of others by saving a choking baby, saving a teenager from committing suicide, saving a motorcyclist at an accident scene, making 63 arrests involving both sales and possession of narcotics, wanted fugitives, burglary, robbery, assaults and identity theft.” She added that two retired volunteers for the La Mesa Police Department since 1998 have donated a combined total of 9,100 volunteer hours to the community.

This year’s heroes are: Paramedics – American Medical Response, Jon Alva and Robert Ivery, Heartland Fire & Rescue – La Mesa, Fire Captain David Hardenburger, La Mesa Police Department, Detective Bucky Wright, Master Officer Lillie Chase, and La Mesa Police Department Retired Senior Volunteer Patrol Nonie Beach and Ray Rendina.

“These fine men and women have made a tremendous difference in our community and the annual dinner allows the entire community to come together and honor them.” England states.

La Mesa Mayor Mark Arapostathis was also on hand to help present awards to the winners, along with England (photo, right).

Guests turned out in style and enjoyed a free photo session with Mardi Gras-themed props.

(Photo, right: Don Parent, community relations manager for SDG&E and his wife)

The Chamber also swore in its new officers and board members:


                        Chairman of the Board, Maggie Eggers EDCO 

                        Vice Chairman of the Board, Marcia Tolin

                        Vice President, Kyle Nyswonger      

                        Secretary, Brian Sack

                        Treasurer, Laurel Cruz

                        President & CEO - Mary England

                        Board Members:

                        Jim Butcher

                        Shannan Doane

                        Bill Hammett

                        Mike Murphy

The Chamber also voiced gratitude to the sponsors who made this Mardi Gras themed evening possible:

 ‘Magnificent Mardi Gras” Sponsors: American Medical Response, EDCO, Virginia Napierskie, “Golden Mardi Gras” Sponsors: AT&T, Barona Resort & Casino, SDG&E, South Baltimore, LLC, Sycuan Casino, “Sapphire Mardi Gras” Sponsors: East County Californian, Hornbrook Center For Dentistry, La Mesa Courier, “Emerald Mardi Gras” Sponsors: Carl Burger Dodge Chrysler Jeep RAM World, Lily’s Mobile Homes, Welcome Wagon, “Mardi Gras Partner” Sponsors: Aflac Regional Office-La Mesa, Block Advisors, Davey Auto Body, Earl W. Fite & Sons Plumbing, Global Protection Group, Hammett Health, Inc., Himalayan Cuisine, Kirk Paving, Inc., North Island Credit Union, SETA Apartment Homes, Southwest Strategies, LLC, Storage West, Tarantino Gourmet Sausages, The Eleanor Yvonne State Farm Agency, The Hills Local Pub and Westside Automotive. They were joined by the following: “Bourbon Street” Media Sponsor: The East County Herald, “Carnival” Sponsor: Town and Country Resort & Convention Center, “Specialty” Sponsor: Dell Awards, “Magic” Design Sponsor: Kostedt Design & Marketing, “Big Easy” Printing Sponsor: AAA Imaging, “Masquerade” Sponsor: Courtesy TV – Sales & Service, “Bayou Photo Booth” Sponsor: Foto Booth Images, “Riverwalk” Sponsor: Sandra Small Photographer, “Mardi Gras Friends” Sponsor: East County Magazine and “Creole” Gift Sponsors: EmbriodME, Jerry Lester, O’s American Kitchen and SDG&E.

(Photo, left: ECM Editor Miriam Raftery)

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