Three Rim of the World area Chambers of Commerce came together and were honored Tuesday night at the Tudor House during a tri-Chamber luau. Running Springs, Lake Arrowhead, and the Crestline/Lake Gregory Chambers of Commerce gathered for the first time in a multi-Chamber mixer featuring members of Mountains Community Hospital (MCH), Rim Educational Foundation, and CAPRE (California Professional Real Estate).
Senator Rosilicie Ochoa Bogh took a break from federal duty to attend and presented Certificates of Recognition to the Lake Arrowhead and Crestline/Lake Gregory Chambers.
“It was great to see the Crestline/Lake Gregory Chamber of Commerce, Lake Arrowhead Chamber of Commerce, and Running Springs Area Chamber of Commerce come together in one place and advocate for unity and positive change on a local level. I look forward to future collaborations and praise them for their hard work,” Senator Ochoa Bogh said of the event.
Lewis Murphy, District Representative of the Mountains Community for County Supervisor Janice Rutherford’s office, was on-site to present Certificates of Recognition to the Crestline/Lake Gregory and the Lake Arrowhead Chambers of Commerce.
Rhea-Frances Tetley (Crestline’s ‘Citizen of the Year’) and Crestline/Lake Gregory Director Kathy Creighton accepted the Certificate of Recognition and gave updates on the recently-opened Visitor’s Center in Crestline. The Visitor’s Center will have a shop with Crestline souvenirs and memorabilia made by local artists.
Jennifer Hurlbut, the owner of Rustic Arts Cabin Outfitters and Sugar Mountain, announced several events, including a backpack and school supply giveaway happening Saturday, August 8, at the Farmer’s Market in Running Springs. There will also be a “Paint and Sip” event at Rustic Arts Cabin Outfitters. The painting party will be Wednesday, July 28, from 3-5 pm. Wine and refreshments will be provided. “You even get to paint a gardening pot and choose your favorite plant to take home!” Hurlbut said. Not to worry if you miss this event—there is another one on August 21.
Hurlbut’s second store, Sugar Mountain, is hosting a “Free Anime Night” featuring a free screening of the movie My Neighbor Totoro. “Come dressed in costume or pajamas for free candy!” Hurlbut said. The event begins at 7 pm on August 7.
Also at Sugar Mountain, there will be a free candy class next month for kids with “Candy Sculptures” as the theme. This event takes place Saturday, August 14, at 1 pm.
In addition to community event announcements, Kim McGuire and Terry Peña of Mountains Community Hospital gave a COVID-19 update as well as an MCH Foundation update. “In May, we were down to 1 percent and now it’s at 9 percent,” Peña said of the virus.
“I’ve watched the staff step up, with uncertainty in their faces, and care for the patients while risking their own health,” Peña said commending the hospital staff. “I’ve watched the staff take on roles that were not their designated jobs. I’ve watched staff take on extra shifts, sometimes working more than 60 hours a week. I watched staff come forward with solutions and volunteer the information.”
McGuire reported on MCH Foundation’s ability to purchase new equipment thanks to money raised by the hospital’s Foundation. “We were able to buy a 3D mammogram machine and a new medication supply dispensing system for the ER,” she said.
The MCH Foundation has raised over $6 million in the past 10 years. McGuire also reported that every year, the hospital requires $1 million in upgrades to purchase new equipment. Donations are critical for such improvements.
This year’s MCH budget, however, is over $2 million, which includes building a new parking structure and relocating the pharmacy as required by regulations.
“Normally the Foundation holds a fundraiser every year in July,” McGuire said, “But this year, the fundraiser is an online sweepstakes. Thanks to the local businesses like Snow Valley and Sky Park, we’ve got about $20,000 worth of prizes that you will be able to buy entries for.” Other prizes include a one-year golf membership to the Country Club, as well as items from the Lake Arrowhead Village shops and the Arrowhead Lake Association.
Jo Bonita Rains, M.Ed., President of the Rim of the World Educational Foundation and Cultural Diversity Specialist, was presented a Certificate of Recognition along with the Foundation’s volunteers for their work supporting Rim students.
The Rim of the World Educational Foundation’s vision is to “enrich the potential of students in order for them to be successful and productive members of society.”
Rains explained the AVID (Advanced Via Individual Determination) program, which teaches young people how to study and how to present their ideas in written and oral form.
In addition to the AVID program, the Foundation supports the Regional Occupational Program/Career Technical Education (ROP/CTE) program, which “provides a variety of career education programs to prepare over 700 high school students for employment and/or advanced education and training.”
The Foundation also partners with “all six of the Rim of the World Unified School District campuses. School staff and parents collaborate to request grants for educational programs, technology, field trips, equipment, and professional development.”
“Every student gets the best educational program this mountain provides,” Rains said. “And the teachers have the resources so that they’re benefiting from your generous support of our students.”
The Tudor House hosted the luau which brought together business owners and community members. The Tudor House hosts a variety of events, from social club gatherings to speakeasy jazz nights, as well as live music and dining weekly. For more information on future events, visit the Tudor House website.
Cecilia Ponce de Leon, the owner of CAPRE Real Estate, and Host of the event said, “This event with all three area Chambers coming together was a platform to create unity in our Mountain community. We are planning another tri-Chamber event soon.” The next event will be a disco theme. The disco event’s theme will be ‘Stayin’ Alive’ (through COVID).
Steve Valentine, Marketing Director at CAPRE Real Estate and representative for the Lake Arrowhead LGBTQ+ organization, praised Cecilia Ponce de Leon for putting the event together.
“What was cool, was this was the brainchild of Cecilia. It was her idea,” said Valentine. “She brought everyone together.”
Valentine has been a part-time resident of Lake Arrowhead for 15 years and more recently made Lake Arrowhead his permanent residence. Valentine also recently took on yet another important community role managing the Summer Concert Series at Lake Arrowhead Village.
Rim community members are invited to the next Chamber mixer to meet and support local business owners, which will be at Rustic Mountain Cabin Outfitters in Running Springs at 5 pm on Tuesday, August 17.
The new Crestline/Lake Gregory Visitor’s Center is open five days a week, Tuesday-Saturday from 10 am to 2 pm. The next Corks and Hops event is scheduled for October 2. More information is available on the Crestline/Lake Gregory Chamber of Commerce website.
Visit the Lake Arrowhead Community Chamber of Commerce and the Running Springs Chamber of Commerce for information on more events and to learn about local businesses to support.
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