The mountain communities are ‘staying alive’

Oct 20, 2022 | Business

These three performers greeted the guests attending the tri-chamber mixer at the Lake Arrowhead Resort and Spa.

Lake Arrowhead resident Sherri Lee kept the hula hoop going even while she wrote her name on the contest sheet. She stopped at 3:59 although she could have gone on all night.

Supervisor Janice Rutherford holds up the silver arrowhead necklace presented to her by Robin Bull as a thank you for her support of the mountain communities.

Ines and Joe Stewart won the best costume award.

Cecilia Ponce de Leon and Steve Valentine wowed the crowd as they danced to “Come to Me” by France Joli.

John Travolta aka Jonny Avirez with Steve Valentine and Cecilia Ponce de Leon in the background.

The mountain communities are ‘staying alive’

By Mary-Justine Lanyon

“Tonight is about community. You are still alive. The mountain communities are strong and resilient. Our chambers of commerce and businesses kept the community going.”
Those were the words of Cecilia Ponce de Leon of CAPRE Realty, who organized the second annual tri-chamber mixer. The event was held on Oct. 13 at the Lake Arrowhead Resort and Spa.
As guests arrived at the Resort, they were met by three performers: a magician, a juggler, and a stilt walker. Inside the ballroom, several nonprofits had set up tables where they shared information about their organizations. DJ Clay kept the music going.
The three chambers then talked about their upcoming events and honored six different foundations and organizations.
But first, Robin Bull, executive director of the Lake Arrowhead Communities Chamber of Commerce, introduced 2nd District Supervisor Janice Rutherford.
“It has been an honor and a privilege to get to know you,” Rutherford told the large crowd. “I was terrified to drive the 18 at first. It was a growing experience! I have made so many friends. I love being up here.”
The Lake Arrowhead chamber honored three foundations: the Rotary Club of Lake Arrowhead, the Mountains Community Hospital Foundation, and the Rim of the World Educational Foundation.
“Our students have excelled,” Jo Bonita Rains, the Rim Ed president, said as she thanked Rutherford and the board of supervisors for their support.
“What strikes me,” said Kevin Somes, president of the Running Springs Area Chamber of Commerce, “is the people here really make a difference. Janice Rutherford has done such a fantastic job. We appreciate you,” he said, turning to the supervisor. “Thank you so much.
“We are a small but mighty chamber of commerce,” Somes added.
He called up Jack Cooperman of Rim Special Athletes, the foundation Running Springs honored. “Snow Valley and Kevin Somes have made what we do a possibility,” Cooperman said.
After outlining the Crestline Chamber of Commerce’s upcoming events, President Michelle Hake presented checks to two groups: the VFW Auxiliary and Heaps Peak Arboretum.
Each honored group received a check for $300 as well as certificates from the mountain’s legislators.
Ponce de Leon then called up members of her team who were being honored. Recognized as CAPRE team players were Deena Ivanova, Erin Willey, Armando Soto, Maksim Yakovlev, and Brittany Pata. Virginia Paleno and Carol Snyder received the Inspirational award, Steve Valentine the Top Producer award, and Alex Bolbolian the Customer Relations Excellence award. Also honored was Jennifer Langford of Marks Management who won the Excellence award.
Many of the guests came dressed in keeping with the “Staying Alive” theme. Winners of the best costume award were Ines and Joe Stewart.
After a quick change of her outfit, Ponce de Leon took to the dance floor with Steve Valentine. The two wowed the crowd by dancing to “Come to Me” by France Joli. As the song drew to a close, some of Valentine’s dance students joined them on the dance floor. Soon the floor was crowded with other guests who wanted to join the fun. Right out in front was John Travolta aka Jonny Avirez.
For more information on the three chambers of commerce and their activities, visit their websites:,, and


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