By SHAZ ROTH, Pajaro Valley Chamber of Commerce and Agriculture
It’s been a wonderful year of celebrating some major anniversaries in Watsonville throughout 2018. “Sesquicentennial” has been a word not many people have had to learn to pronounce (some of us still can’t), but with the City of Watsonville, Register-Pajaronian and S. Martinelli & Co. all reaching this awesome milestone, we have taken pride in making it part of our vocabulary.
The Pajaro Valley Chamber of Commerce and Agriculture is celebrating 57 years of honoring the people, businesses and organizations who have made this one of the absolute best places to live. Some of the earlier award recipients include familiar names such as Florence Wycoff, Henry Mello, the 1965 Antique Fly-In, The 1979 Apple Annual Festival, Betty Lewis, Bruce Woolpert and many, many more throughout the years who have received these honors.
What makes this annual celebration so special is that you, the community, are the ones who nominate who you think deserve these awards each year. From August until mid-October, nominations are received by the Chamber and this is where the excitement begins. The Selection Committee, which consists of the award recipients in each category for the past five years, gather to go through nominations and make their vote by secret ballot as to who they believe best deserves the honor. This is no easy task … there are many, many deserving people, organizations and businesses who are nominated along with a vast amount of information of ways they have consistently given back to the community. The Chamber facilitates this meeting, but has no part in voting. Only the category of Lifetime Achievement is selected by the Chamber’s Executive Committee.
The day after the selections have been made is one of the most exciting days of the year for the Chamber. We visit each awardee and congratulate them with a card, balloon and the great news! The group of honorees is later treated to a lunch together to get to know one another and create a lifetime bond of being honored in the same year. However, the true excitement happens at the Annual Dinner when they are given their awards. It’s an evening of celebration with an attendance of more than 500 people throughout Santa Cruz County who come to honor these amazing people.
On Feb. 2, the Crosetti Hall at the Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds will come alive with the theme, “That’s Amore – We Love the Pajaro Valley!” and everyone is invited to attend. Special guest emcee for the evening will be Barry Brown of KION. The event also includes a silent and live auction and will wrap up with music and dancing with Jack Crawford of Music Now.
The Chamber is pleased to be honoring Man of the Year, Brad Hubbard; Woman of the Year, Lori Butterworth; Business of the Year, Alladin Nursery; Organization of the Year, Dientes Community Dental Care; Event of the Year, Aldina’s Charity Chili Cook-Off and Lifetime Achievement, Alex Solano.
For ticket information, please visit the Chamber website at www.pajarovalleychamber.com or call 724-3900.
Shaz Roth is the president/CEO of the Pajaro Valley Chamber of Commerce and Agriculture. Her opinions are her own and not necessarily those of the Register-Pajaronian.