Chamber gets it right with honorees
Three citizens, two youth, one highly-motivated group and two outstanding businesses were honored Saturday night at the annual Porterville Chamber of Commerce banquet, and every single one of those honored was beyond deserving.
Honored were Man of the Year Jeff Edwards, Woman of the Year Eleanor Foerster, Volunteer of the Year Augie Gonzalez Jr., the March Through Time mural committee, Small Business Sutton’s Iris Gardens, Large Business Sierra Forest Products and Youths of the Year Milton Ramirez and Madeline Garcia.
Mr. Edwards stole the show with his acceptance comments, noting that the Chamber had made a mistake. However, this local treasure has been documenting and writing about this community’s rich history for decades and often telling about it as well.
Eleanor Foerster has contributed to the community in many ways over the years, especially the American Association of University Women, the First Congregational Church and her founding of the Community Strings Camp and the local match and science conference for middle school students.
Perhaps, most deserving on the night was the Marching Through Time mural committee. The small group of dedicated folks spearheaded the difficult task of raising tens of thousands of dollars to get the mural that now graces Centennial Park to fruition. The late Vedra McElfresh pushed her committee of Richard Hatfield, Denise Marchant, Bill Drennen and others to ensure that the great local school band legacy will forever be remembered in Porterville.
When not rescuing dogs and cats, Volunteer of the Year Augie Gonzalez can be found at many community events, lending not only a hand, but his enthusiasm for the community he calls home.
Sutton’s Iris and Sierra Forest Products both exemplify that small business spirit and desire to serve their employees as well as the community.
And, students Milton Ramirez and Madeline Garcia are fine examples of the future in store for this community.