By Samantha SLAYBACK
fter being postponed a month earlier, Montrose finally received a proper 102nd birthday celebration on Sunday. Though the Founder’s Day awards ceremony, part of the birthday celebration, was initially rescheduled on account of poor weather, the “102nd-plus-a-month” birthday bash took place on a warm, sunny day representative of the spring season.
Early in the afternoon, amidst the usual Sunday Harvest Market, the Founder’s Day award ceremony was held on the street just north of Coffee Bean on Honolulu Avenue just west of Ocean View Boulevard. Though this was one of the smaller Montrose Shopping Park events, the ceremony took extensive planning and preparation, courtesy of the event coordinator Dale Dawson.
As an introduction to the ceremony, Glendale Mayor Zareh Sinanyan said a few words about the city of Montrose and its success since it was founded 102 years (and a month) ago. This brief speech led to Montrose-Verdugo City Chamber of Commerce President Eric Hamilton’s comments on the town and the awardees. Then onto the various community members being recognized with the 2015 Founder’s Day awards.
Awards were given to businesses, organizations and individuals to honor their service to the community. Allan and Lorry Herbert received the Certificate of Recognition of 75 Years for their business, the Community Directory Company, that’s been up and running since 1940.
Business Achievement Awards was given to four Montrose businesses. Alyce and Tom Russell with Anderson’s Pets, Deborah Beljan with El Charro Restaurant, Garo Anserlian with Executive Jewelers and Ken Grayson with Grayson’s Tune Town all received this honor.
Prom Plus Club was recognized for giving back to the community through its countless volunteer hours and given the Community Service Award. Finally, the prestigious Montrose Heritage Award was given to Myrna Grijalva for her many contributions to city of Montrose, including her work with the MSPA and her work with her family’s restaurant, Joselito’s.
Each recipient was given the opportunity to address the audience with a short speech. Everyone had something unique to say, but one thing every recipient had in common was a large “thank you” to the generations of loyal customers who have kept their businesses thriving throughout the years.
As well as coordinating the event, Dawson was also a member of the Montrose Shopping Park Assn. committee that chose the 2015 award recipients.
“I feel strongly that each of them is most deserving of this recognition for their many contributions to our community,” expressed Dawson. “These people are our friends and neighbors and are part of the ‘Montrose Family’.”
The Herberts, the Russells, and Ken Grayson are among a few of the community members that Dawson and his family have known since they moved to town 15 years ago. Like many friends and neighbors in Montrose, Dawson feels very strong ties to the community and, as his statements clarified, a sense of family within the small town. He and his wife travel 50 miles everyday in order to come down and open their shop in Montrose.
“There is no other place we’d rather be,” declared Dawson. “Montrose is one of the last vestiges of small town life in Southern California and we choose to enjoy that as long as it lasts.”
After the ceremony, as a gift to the public, the MSPA gave out 250 free pastries courtesy of La Fleur Pastries, another Montrose business.
The sense of pride in the Montrose community is apparent not only through the work of the award recipients but the large turnout for this Founders Day event. Happy 102nd birthday, Montrose!