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The One, The Only, Topangas Chamber of Commerce
March 21, 2013 - By Flavia Potenza
Its a voluntary three-year commitment and its thrilling, says Chamber president Joseph Rosendo.
In anticipation of the upcoming 64th Annual Topanga Chamber of Commerce (TCoC) Awards dinner on April 6, Chamber President Joseph Rosendo wants people to knowmore even than simply honoring the 2012 awardees that this is a celebration of Topangas people who have fought to protect and preserve the Canyon over the years.
The truth is, he says, is that the struggle never ends, Rosendo said. There is always something new presented that has the result of changing the Canyon in a way that makes it lose its spirit, scenic beauty and lifestyle that we who live here and the world prizes. Rosendo travels the world with his TV travelogue, Travelscope, and he knows.
Everywhere we travel, everyone knows about Topanga and has a warm, positive response, he said. The 2012 awards are honoring the people who have been part of that struggle.
CITIZENS OF THE YEAR
Now in their eighties, no one embodies the youthful spirit of Topanga more than this years Citizens of the Year, columnist Al Martinez and his beautiful wife, Joanne, who have lived here since Jan. 1, 1972. Each has served the community well; Al through his L.A. By God Times columns and recently those he writes for the Messenger (for which we thank him as much as God).
Joanne was responsible for the family moving here from Oakland when Al got the job with the L os Angeles Times.
I didnt want to move, so Al told me to pick a place, Joanne recalled. I looked at a map and saw this road snaking around and knew it would be in the mountains. I love the outdoors. She looked at other areas, too, but said she never, ever considered any place but Topanga. Ive been glad ever since. I think Topanga is life changing. I feel blessed.
NON-PROFIT ORGANIZATION OF THE YEAR
TCoC is honoring the Topanga Watershed Committee (TWC) with the Non-profit Organization of the Year award for stepping up about pesticide spraying along the Boulevard.
As a result of the efforts of the ad hoc Topanga Canyon Boulevard Roadside Committee, where county and state agencies and local volunteer organizations, such as TWC, have come together with concerned residents, the committee will be recommending best management practices to Caltrans for maintaining the Boulevard (State Highway 27) without using toxic chemicals and still fulfill traffic and fire safety mandates.
The Boulevard is our Main Street, said Rosendo. What we, as Topangas Chamber, realized from working on this committee and all the entities that have participated, is the possibility of officially designating this highway as a scenic corridor.
BUSINESS OF THE YEAR
Lance Roberts, owner of Froggys Topanga Fish Market, was chosen to receive the Business of the Year award. Froggys is a Topanga landmark and a venue for some of the best music in town. Last year, Roberts upgraded the service and the food .
At one time or another, everyone goes to Froggys, for the food and for the ambience, of course, but also for music, Rosendo said. It is another opportunity for young musicians to come in and showcase their work. Theyve got every kind of music going on there.
CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
Speaking of young people, Rosendo noted that the Chamber is actively opening its doors to those up-and-coming whippersnappers, inviting them to participate and share their creativity and talents with the Canyon.
The perception is that the TCoC is stodgy. Rosendo became animated as he continued: We are Topangas Chamber of Commerce and we are different from others. We have a Chamber that matches the spirit of Topanga. We are the perfect Chamber for this town and we are getting young people involved. Our business people respond to that; they love it.
As an example, he pointed to Jennifer Babcocks 7-year-old daughter, Lucy, who has become a member of TCoC, with her baking company, Lucys Bake Shop.
We are a volunteer organization. Its a full-time job and I have my other full-time job, Rosendo said. The TCoC Board is a human resource. To be able to follow through on good ideas we need volunteers who will commit to three years and we invite anyone who comes into the Canyon with the spirit of Topanga and wants to be of service to become a member,he said. Its thrilling.
The awards banquet takes place, Saturday, April 6, 6:30 p.m. to 10 p.m., at Froggys Topanga Fish Market, 1105 N. Topanga Canyon Blvd., Topanga CA 90290.
Tickets are available online at topangachamber.org or by mailing a check, payable to Topanga Chamber of Commerce, P.O. Box 185, Topanga CA 90290. Cost is $45 for members, $55 for non-members and includes hors doeuvres, dinner, dessert and one drink ticket. No tickets will be sold at the door.
For more information, contact TCoC Event Chair, April Hinkle, (818) 294-5033, or email@example.com.