Installation of 2021-2022 officers
By RHEA-FRANCES TETLEY
At their annual installation and community recognitions dinner, Kevin Somes was installed for the 18th year as president of the Running Springs Area Chamber of Commerce.
“I am honored the community has enough trust in me to elect me again,” Somes said.
Joining Somes as chamber officers are Michael Lee, vice president; Alexandra Lim, secretary; and Michael Scullin, treasurer. The other members of the Running Springs chamber board of directors installed for the next year were Emily Bauder, Stephanie Burrows, Cathy Clemens, Jennifer Hurlbut, Steven Peter, Dixi Willemse (not present) and Jordan Zarate. They introduced their new administrative assistant, Sherry Bridgeford.
The Running Springs chamber was able to hold over 50 Zoom board meetings during the pandemic, more than any other chamber in San Bernardino County. This was made possible because Aaron Scullin immediately offered his equipment and expertise. Beginning on Nov. 9,, their meetings will be held both by Zoom and in person on the second Tuesday of each month at the Hootman Center.
During the Nov. 6 event, the Running Springs chamber looked back at the year, pointing at several highlights that took place despite COVID-19 restrictions. The Saturday morning farmers market had more visitors and sales than in previous years, because of being held outdoors; the farmers market will continue through Nov. 20, weather permitting.
The MountainTop Days parade was coordinated by Steven Peter. MountainTop Days was declared a total success, with new games designed by Aaron Scullin. Michael Lee will coordinate the event this next year and says they will begin making plans in February, getting permits; he would like all who would like to be involved to let him know.
The recognition award for Business of the Year was presented by Jennifer Hurlbut to LuluBelle’s Coffee House and Bakery. This new business started making banana bread at the farmers market before they had their storefront. “As a business they have reached out to the community to see what they want, being inclusive, making vegan and gluten-free items, using healthy ingredients, and have the best quiche on the mountain,” Hurlbut said.
Michael and Michelle Giovanni brought their whole staff to the dinner and thanked them for their hard work making the business successful.
The Citizens of the Year were honored and given plaques. Cathy Clemens was thanked for managing the farmers market by Kevin Somes, saying she had to work with the certified growers, deal with the vendors and did all the paperwork. Plus, now she has accepted the challenge of the Gateway Magazine which promotes the Running Springs area, writing stories, doing layouts and selling some of the ads.
Also recognized as Citizen of the Year was Aaron Scullin for years of service to the chamber and the community, this year offering Zoom for the board meetings and organizing better games for MountainTop Days. Scullin was not in attendance and sent Harrison Scullin to accept the award, as he was busy helping his son moving across country.
School Board member Jordan Zarate presented the Rim of the World Educational Foundation the Organization of the Year award, for all the volunteer organization has done for the local schools. It began in the 1980s and every year raises funds to support the education of Rim school students. They are currently supporting the ROP and AVID programs and Partnership with Schools grants, ensuring all students succeed by making sure all schools get equal shares of the funds, distributing $70,000 this year.
Rim Ed President Jo Bonita Rains described the programs and let the board members speak about their special programs and the fundraisers they use to raise the funds they donate, including the PolaRotary Bear Plunge and Giving Tuesday at the Lake Arrowhead Lakefront Tap Room.
Linda Peabody was recognized for her 15 years working in the chamber office, that Sherry Bridgeford is now learning to do. They also recognized the two board members who are leaving the board, Richard Steward and Jennifer Sireika.
Then they honored three long-time community and chamber members who passed this last year, with a moment of silence. Joan Moseley (who started the Alpenhorn News), Tom Preston (Camp O-Ongo and town historian) and Joe Harich (founder of Rim Recreation and Park District, Heaps Peak dump), and Dick and Nancy Tucker (Tucker Field). They also had display boards and write-ups on their many contributions over the decades.
The silent auction of baskets donated by nonprofits and businesses raised funds to help support the dinner and the chamber. Adam Hurlbut provided excellent musical entertainment all evening long.
For more information about events sponsored by the Running Springs Area Chamber of Commerce or to get information how they can assist your business succeed, call their office at (909) 867-2411 or visit www.runningspringschamber.com.