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The Ocean Beach MainStreet Association (OBMA) held its annual meeting and recognized members for contributions to the community on Oct. 24, simultaneously celebrating the 35th anniversary of the organization.

Members of the community were recognized for volunteerism, creative promotions of their businesses and best use of the storefront improvement program, among other recognitions. They were celebrated with noisemakers, kazzos, party hats and more.

The festivities were highlighted with music and an Ocean Beach trivia quiz hosted by Sevy and Ryan from Glasz Productions, and three special Ocean Beach songs performed by Billy Lee and the Swamp Critters.

The group began the awards portion of the program by reciting the OB Pledge of Allegiance with the signature two-fingered peace signs in the air.  In honor of the organization’s anniversary celebration, for the first time, a People’s Choice winner was chosen in each category by members.

Also, the community got to vote for the Customer Service Business of the Year. In total, six award categories honored 22 organizations/individuals for their outstanding efforts.

Each year, exemplary merchants are recognized by various OBMA committees, including those of promotions, design, economic restructuring, crime prevention, organization and, this year, the Customer Service Business of the Year Award.

Customer Service Business of the Year was open to the public through social media sites and the OBMA website and added a fun, interactive community element to the celebration. The People’s Choice winner  was chosen in each category by members.

“It was great fun to celebrate OBMA’s 35th birthday and to recognize the individuals and businesses who have helped make this community so special throughout that time,” said Denny Knox, executive director of OBMA.

The awards were:

Promotion Committee

• Wonderland Ocean Pub (Mina Desiderio) for promoting the best of the community through advertising campaigns.

• OB Woman’s Club (Donna Bergeson) for the re-launch of the Ocean Beach Woman’s Club (new logo, website, membership drive, community outreach, etc.)

• James Gang Printing (Leigh Ann and Paul Bearce, Jim and Elizabeth Berdeguez) for creation of Ocean Beach community-themed merchandise.

• Lighthouse Ice Cream (Carol Ladiges) for delicious approach to bringing news stories to her business and the community.

Design Committee

• Wonderland Ocean Pub (Mina Desiderio) for unique design elements celebrating the community’s rich history.

• Ashley Lewis and Jenn David for working to create colorful, meaningful graphic banners for the Ocean Beach entryway and Newport Avenue.

• Newport Avenue Antique Center (Craig Gerwig & Scott Allgaier) for utilizing the city’s storefront improvement program to enhance the design of the storefront.

• Te Mana Café (Marguerite & Jason Cruz) for their island-style renovation of indoor/outdoor dining areas.

Economic Restructuring Committee

• Ocean Beach Library (Matt Beatty) in celebration of its 80th anniversary.

• Lifeguard Statue at Veterans’ Plaza and Byron Wear for honoring the lifeguards and enhancing the waterfront.

• The Ocean Beach Playhouse (Lynne & Paul Bolton) for bringing a community theater to Ocean Beach — a place where musicians, actors and performers, as well as residents and local business owners, can meet.

Crime Prevention Committee

• San Diego Police Department Lt. Natalie Stone, Western Division, for outstanding dedication to the safety and well being of the community.

• Officer Efren Peregrina, Western Division; Officer Doug Campbell, Western Division; and Sgt. Jack Knish, Western Division, for outstanding efforts to improve the quality of life in Ocean Beach.

Organization Committee

• Ocean Beach Community Development Corporation (Tom Perrotti (president) and Stephen Grosch (project manager) for leadership efforts on behalf of the community to provide a project design for the new Veterans’ Plaza area.

• Union Bank — Major sponsor of the OBMA annual awards celebration

• Point Loma Masonic Center — Community Partner Award

Customer Service Business of the Year

These awards go to the businesses that exemplify the spirit of Ocean Beach and reflect a positive awareness and activity in the community through exceptional customer service.

• First place: Catrina Russell, Coldwell Banker

• Second place: Beach Community Acupuncture (Nicole Murray, LAC)

• Third place: BO-beau’s Kitchen + Bar (Luna)

Assemblywoman Toni Atkins attended and recognized the OBMA for its continued efforts in the community and commendations for productivity in the community. “You are problem solvers. That’s what you do,” Atkins said. “You look to make thing happen in this community and address issues, and that’s what makes you so successful.”

Many other local dignitaries provided proclamations at the event, celebrating the significance of the association’s longevity in the community. Among the proclamations were those extended by interim Mayor Todd Gloria and county Supervisor Ron Roberts. state Sen. Marty Block and Atkins also recognized each of the award winners.

For more information on OBMA, visit www.oceanbeachsandiego.com.

Read more: San Diego Community News Group – OB businesses community members feted for neighborhood improvements

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