August 7, 2008

Dorothy Cunningham: Chamber Awards Lunch

Arcadia Chamber of Commerce President Judy Pons and Executive Director Beth Costanza sprightly moved along the heavily laden honoree program.

On July 25 at the Courtyard Marriott, outstanding members for 2007 were honored for the following categories:

1) New member of the year was Elizabeth Tsui from Wachovia Mortgage Consultants. She has been in the mortgage business for 15 years. She has been active in attending events, supporting sponsorships, ads, and Expo participation. She joined in 2007 as she wished to meet other business people and helped to provide service to the community by introducing the Asian market to the Chamber. She says, "Let's work together."

2) Business persons of the year were Ruben Cardenas and Desiree Alvarado, "EmbroidMe" of Arcadia. In accepting this award Desiree said: "It is a family affair and they all have jobs without pay, including the children and grandmother." The couple is everywhere! They have been involved in most of the chamber happenings, and give discount rates on various promotional items and are always most accommodating.

3) The Chamber Service Award went to Alice Wang, president of the Arcadia Chinese Association. For several years they have been strong advocates of the Chamber. They created the Asian Business Night to encourage recent immigrant owners in Arcadia to join the Chamber, introducing Asian businesses to the more established local mainstream community.

4) Selected for the Business of the Year Award was Caruso Affiliated represented by Rick Lemmo. They underwrote the major portion of the "Taste of Arcadia." This tripled the attendance. Rick Lemmo stated: "We go to considerable length to customize each center to fit the community we serve." He also sits on the Board of Directors.

All four honorees were recognized with presentations by local dignitaries and legislative representatives.

Guest speaker Jay Cohen, Santa Anita Park bugler, not only can blow his bugle and other trumpets many different ways , but he is an entertaining speaker. He said has played that race track tune more than 80,000 times, calling the beginning of a race.

He began here in 1987. He has traveled to 16 race tracks and entertained for a variety of functions as well. Without fail, he practices three to four hours a day to keep in shape.

"The track is a phenomenal place," he said. "It hosts numerous events."

It can accommodate from 25 to 5000. The Clocker's Corner is a marvelous place to visit. It is free and opens at 5 a.m. for the visitor to observe the horses training on the track. And there is breakfast as well.

In the meantime we learned a great deal about the sound of a bugle and its related instruments.

Included in this program was a recognition of Chamber members present, who have been members for 25 years or more. And there was a good number present who continue to show their interest and loyalty.

It is one thing that helps to keep the Chamber strong.


How can one resist a Rodgers and Hammerstein musical? I can't imagine anyone not being familiar with the tunes and words of this legendary song-writing team that make the songs so endearing.

And how fortunate we are in southern California to be able to spend an evening in the open air where all is calm and listen to classical music.

That is the way thousands felt as they filled the Arboretum on July 26.

Under the baton of Director Victor Vener, the creative style of bringing classical music to concert goers brings magic to the familiar tunes. We were treated to selections of a great variety of songs from "Sound of Music" to "Oklahoma."

The famed "Carousel" is like a European waltz, according to Vener. "It is truly great classical music."

International opera star Suzanna Guzman sang her rendition of "You'll Never Walk Alone." It seemed that her mezzo-soprano voice reverberated through the entire Arboretum. Suzanna receives accolades from her many operatic engagements and she serves on many boards of musical education.

Baritone Kevin Earley delivers with such power. He also has a touching expression in his voice when performing the soliloquy when he discovers his wife is pregnant. He dreams of the boy-to-be, then realizes it could be a girl. After this performance, he returned to New York the next day to continue rehearsals for a "Tale of Two Cities," which will open on Broadway in September.

The next performance will be Aug. 9 at 7:30 p.m. at the Arboretum, and Aug. 10 at 2 p.m. at the Walt Disney Concert Hall. "MOVIE MAGIC' will feature piano and violin virtuosos Ayke Agus and Phil Smith, organ conservator at Walt Disney Concert Hall.

Vener will lead Cal Phil in a weekend of music paying tribute to the silver screen.

For tickets call (213) 365-3500 or purchase online at

Address correspondence for Dorothy Cunningham to The Weekly Star, 1210 N. Azusa Canyon Road, West Covina, CA 91790. You can also reach Dorothy via e-mail at [email protected]

(c) 2008 San Gabriel Valley Tribune. Provided by ProQuest Information and Learning. All rights Reserved.