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July 12, 2013 (Lakeside) -- The Lakeside Chamber of Commerce has named Bonnie LaChappa as the 2013 Lakeside Citizen of the Year with their Harry J. Spence Award. Bonnie, a lifelong Lakeside resident and an elected member of the Barona Band of Mission Indians Tribal Council, is well known for her tireless volunteerism in the East County community.

“Giving back and sharing have always been a big part of our Barona Tribal culture,” said Clifford LaChappa, Chairman of the Barona Band of Mission Indians. “We are very proud of everything Councilwoman LaChappa has done in the community to earn this meaningful award.”

In addition to her leadership on the Barona Tribal Council, Bonnie is a dedicated community servant and the list of causes and organizations she supports is long. She is committee co-chair of the Barona Cultural Center & Museum, a Board Member of the Lakeside Union School District, and Chairwoman of the Barona Recreation Center Parent Committee. In addition, she has served on the board for the Lakeside River Park Conservancy and also on an advisory committee for the Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) Underage Drinking Program.  A devoted wife and mother, she is also a champion of education and is an active member of the Lindo Park Elementary School PTA and Tierra Del Sol Middle School PTA, where her children attended school.

“No volunteer task is too small or too large for Bonnie," said Kathy Kassel, executive director of Lakeside Chamber of Commerce. "Whether it’s scooping snow cones all day, unloading trash at an ‘I Love a Clean Lakeside’ event or securing funding for the skate park, Bonnie gives with her whole heart and dedication. Bonnie’s love of Lakeside is shown in her commitment to making our community the best place to live, work and play.”

The Lakeside Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the Year Award originated in 1980. The first recipient was Harry J. Spence who was also a Lakeside resident and influential community volunteer.

“This award is such an honor and I'm really touched that people recognize how much I care about this community,” said Bonnie LaChappa. “I feel an incredible attachment to Lakeside and I want to make it the best it can be for my children, grandchildren and future generations.”

This latest honor caps a list of other notable awards earned by Bonnie in recent years.  She received the 2007 Women of the Year award from Senator Joel Anderson, the 2006 Women in Leadership “Government Leader” award from the San Diego East County Chamber of Commerce and the 2011 Lakeside Chamber Member Volunteer of the Year Award.

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