A Rewarding Experience
Last Thursday, I had the pleasure of attending the annual installation ceremony and awards banquet for the Montrose-Verdugo City Chamber of Commerce. While there, I had the honor of presenting CV Weekly reporter Mary O’Keefe with the prestigious Frank Roberts Award.
For those who might not know, Frank Roberts – dubbed Mr. Montrose – was a man of vision who had a love for Montrose and the Crescenta Valley. He tirelessly worked to raise the public’s awareness of the little town and all it had to offer. Over the years, Montrose has evolved into a destination location that holds a variety of activities over the years, most notably the annual Wags ‘n’ Whiskers/Kids ‘n’ Kritters/Taste of Montrose in May; Oktoberfest in October; and the Montrose Christmas Parade. Montrose also embodies “Mayberry”-like qualities and is an attractive location for movies and television shows to shoot.
The award given in his honor mirrors the dedication that Frank had for the community and, in my opinion, Mary O’Keefe truly reflects that dedication.
Mary was, true to character, humble in her acceptance while at the same time using her few minutes at the podium to push the audience to donate their time for the many organizations in the Crescenta Valley that need volunteers –organizations like Prom Plus and the Fire House, our local youth center.
Receiving her award was a highlight and a very public affair. But she has been given another honor that may not be so well known.
In the early days of the Fire House, though some of the kids were eager to establish a place of their own in the Crescenta Valley, there were some kids who were rather reluctant to stop by and timid in checking out these new digs. They might not immediately engage with the other kids or were quiet when spoken to.
But Mary treated them all the same, welcoming them with open arms when they arrived at 6 p.m. on Tuesday night and booting them out at 9. This week her efforts were rewarded when one of these quieter boys asked her to introduce him at his Eagle Scout Court of Honor.
The Court of Honor is an incredibly big deal and to have been asked to provide an introduction is a testament to what the person means to the Eagle Scout.
Mary is well aware of this honor and has accepted it with the same humility as last week’s Frank Roberts Award.
And both are richly deserved.
Kudos to the City of Glendale for their promotion of new City Manager Scott Ochoa.
I attended a city-sponsored reception in his honor last week and like the groom at a wedding, he patiently shook hands and greeted everyone who took time to say hello. In taking the podium, he was eloquent and enthusiastic in laying out some ideas for the city.
Yesterday morning I got myself up and out at an ungodly (for me) hour of 6:30 a.m. to take part in the Glendale Chamber of Commerce Outlook breakfast. The ballroom at the Glendale Hilton was packed with hundreds of business professionals who came to mix and mingle and hear Scott, who was the keynote speaker.
Scott spoke knowledgably on the state of the city, specifically in regard to the dismantling of the redevelopment agencies by Sacramento and how that will impact local business. He noted that as these funds dry up, Sacramento will expect the cities to look to their own to raise funds to maintain their lifestyle – which may again be tapped by Sacramento.
He finished by reminding us that it’s a brand new world – a world that necessitates collaboration and partnership.
The leadership role that he is undertaking is reassuring and, though scary in many regards, this brand new world may make us stronger in the end.