La Mesa Chamber’s Annual Salute to Local Heroes
In pure cabaret style, the La Mesa Chamber of Commerce held its 7th Annual Salute to Heroes and Annual Dinner at the Town & Country Resort Hotel on Feb. 18. Though they might have left the Village, with all the business and community partners present, the Village on the hill was highly represented at this exquisite and inspirational event.
President and CEO of the LMCOC, Mary England said this event “celebrates the strength of the community and honors those local heroes that serve and make La Mesa a better place to live and work.”
Beginning with a nice reception, with silent and raffle auctions and piano music provided by Chris Drury, provided all with a great chance to get with old friends, meet new ones and see the plethora of businesses that make La Mesa work. For dinner, cabaret singer and artist Devlin, dazzled the room with a selection of cabaret, jazz and blues.
Beginning the evening’s business was swearing in the LMCOC Board of Directors by La Mesa Vice Mayor Ruth Sterling. But the highlight of the night was the honoring seven of some of La Mesa’s best in serving its community.
From Paramedics American Medical Response, Cody Brackney and Kyle Granger, partners for more than five years were honored for their service, in particular, saving an elderly patient who had been run over by an SUV. With several underlying medical conditions, these partners utilized all of their trained skills, and quick response to quickly get her to the trauma center. As first responders, she was in critical condition when they first arrived and their actions and professionalism saved her live.
Captain Todd Nelson from Heartland Fire & Rescue earned honors for his 17 years of fire service, his commitment to the community by serving on several committees and organizing community events. His service on the Apparatus Committee resulted in securing Truck 11 and Rescue Engine 12 to the La Mesa fleet. These two specialized fire apparatus provide greater safety to the La Mesa community at a much-reduced cost. It took hundreds of hours of investment to accomplish.
La Mesa Police Department Officer Bill Wilson was recognized for his work in the Traffic Unit and his lead investigation into three major injury accidents. Wilson has served the department for seven years. Police Chief Ed Aceves said his diligence, flexibility and dedication to the Traffic Unit and the department was just some of the reasons he was chosen as Officer of the Year.
La Mesa Police Department Community Resource Supervisor Maxine Lynch, is the only person in the department that has been there longer that Aceves, he said. Recognized as Employee of the Year, Lynch has supervised the Retired Senior Volunteer Program, LIVE Scan Operation, and manages the Graffiti Tracker Program. She recently organized the 20th Anniversary Gala, and has an impressive list of events that she organizes. Her contribution to the department and community is considered “overwhelming” with the amount of hard work and hours she puts into each one of these events for the community of La Mesa.
Aceves also honored two of the La Mesa Police Department Retired Senior Volunteer Patrol, Barbara Burgess and Lorraine Sheibley. Admired for their relentless work to help the seniors within the community, they offered assistance to a senior due to be evicted. He was, but they found him homeless in San Diego, got him with his social worker, doctor and ultimately helped him find a place to live on his fixed income.