ALPS Awards honored region’s best
By Jo Moreland
Alpine Mountain Empire Chamber of Commerce For The Alpine Sun
ALPINE ---- Almost 40 people, businesses and organizations received awards on Jan. 13 at the 2014 Annual Alpine Mountain Empire Leadership & Public Service Awards!
The friendly crowd at the Viejas DreamCatcher Lounge applauded for nominees as well as winners during the popular event presented by the Alpine Mountain Empire Chamber of Commerce. The evening honors those who did the most in 2013 to help the rural region.
After accepting two awards on behalf of the new Alpine Youth Center for Alpine Youth Organization of the Year and The Alpine Sun Newsmaker Award, Director Joseph Vanderbilt appeared overwhelmed as he thanked everyone.
“I’m very excited to get the recognition from the community,” Vanderbilt said later. “I do feel at home.”
The Associated Pageants of Alpine & Mountain Empire earned the Mountain Empire Youth Organization of the Year Award.
Sponsored by the Viejas Band of Kumeyaay Indians and the San Diego Gas & Electric Co., the evening’s Master of Ceremonies Jeff Campbell of Jeff Campbell & Associates realtors kept the action fun and lively.
A highlight was the announcement of Alpine’s new 2014 Honorary Mayor ---- Fire Chief Bill Paskle. Paskle thanked the other candidates ---- Cheryl Irick and Nina Gould ---- and his donors as he accepted the Key to the Community.
Outgoing Honorary Mayor Jon McEvoy thanked the Chamber for presenting the annual campaign, which has helped raise more than $80,000 during the past decade for student needs in Alpine Union School District classrooms. Every dollar given to a campaign counts as a “vote.”
“This year’s campaign raised $2,000,” Chamber President/CEO Patricia Cannon said.
Cannon later presented the Chamber President’s Award to the regional Santee Lakes Recreation Preserve of the Padre Dam Municipal Water District, a Chamber member.
The self-sustaining park won two major national awards and a significant state one during 2013, Cannon noted. The two national awards were for best large and most environmentally friendly campground in the nation. The California award was for best park virtual tour website.
Honored for either Alpine or the Mountain Empire, each ALPS category has two award recipients.
The ALPS Citizen of the Year honors went to President Andrew Oberreuter of the Mountain Empire Men’s Club and President Christine Connell of the Alpine Library Friends Association.
The MEMC expects to award $30,000 in scholarships this spring. ALFA is leading a community effort to furnish and supply the new Alpine Library.
Viejas Casino & Resort in Alpine and the Pine House Café & Tavern in Mount Laguna earned the two Large Business of the Year awards. The Small Business of the Year recipients were Coldwell Banker in Alpine and the Country Tree House Preschool in Descanso.
The Mountain Empire Men’s Club and the Alpine Woman’s Club received the two Organization of the Year Awards. Accepting on behalf of the Woman’s Club, member Ann Hill noted that the organization will turn 100 this year.
“This October we’re going to have a big party and the whole town is invited,” said Hill, who earned a 2014 Community Organization Member Recognition Award from the club.
The pair of Beautification Awards went to the Goodwill store in Alpine and the Pine Valley Community Church.
Diana Saenger, who wrote a book about the Veterans Wall of Honor in Alpine, earned that community’s Special Recognition Award. The Mountain Empire Special Recognition Award went to the Descanso Town Hall Association for its ongoing community efforts.
In addition to the Alpine Woman’s Club, nine other community organizations recognized members and volunteers for dedicated service.
The Alpine Community Center honored Louise Phipps, Kenny and Patty Rohde and John Krempp; Alpine Education Foundation, Chris Newcomb, and ALFA, librarian Elisabeth Newbold.
Carol Paton Breise earned the Lions, Tigers & Bears award. The Kiwanis Club of Alpine honored Jim Cate.
Eric and Sue Johnson received recognition from the Lemon Grove Road & Gun Club. Oberreuter also earned an MEMC member’s award.
The San Diego County Sheriff’s Department member award went to Crime Prevention Specialist Holly Conroy of the Alpine Sheriff’s Station. Patricia Tweed, Lisa Boetjer, Laurie Conrad and Nikki Welder received the Soroptimist International of Alpine Award.
Campbell also presented awards to the Alpine Community Center, Albertsons, The Alpine Sun and the Chamber for their help with his annual year-end Holiday Gift Bag Drive.
Call (619) 445-2722 or visit www.alpinechamber.com for more information about the Chamber and its member and community opportunities.