Imperial Chamber celebrates year’s achievements in business and the community

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Lori Marrs, an Imperial Chamber of Commerce board member, recognizes former teacher Marian Long at the 2017 annual dinner held at the Imperial Palms Resort in Holtville. Photo by Daniella Rodiles

HOLTVILLE – At the Imperial Palms Resort, Imperial business owners, sponsors and community members dressed in luau attire to celebrate Imperial Chamber of Commerce’s 2017 annual dinner and dance Saturday in recognition of the city’s improvements and achievements.

The luau-themed event was organized by the chamber, and as pop music filled the air, guests were welcomed with colorful pastel leis and enjoyed cocktails as they settled into their seats.

The evening began with a special presentation of the Te’Here Mission Dance Group performing several Polynesian dance numbers to charm the audience.

Darryl Petchl, Imperial city council member, opened the event with an invocation and remarked to the public how local businesses connect and lead the community as a vital part of the city’s economic status.

Rafael Galvan, president of the Chamber of Commerce, expressed his appreciation to the community, board members, sponsors and the city of Imperial for supporting every event and taking time out of their day to attend events and meetings. Galvan summarized the year’s successes of events and new businesses that have shaped the city of Imperial.

“Our focus as part of the Chamber of Commerce is to help promote businesses of Imperial,” he said. “We want to support the new businesses and make sure the community is aware of the services they provide and also help the city of Imperial promote their events as well.”

Chamber board members Lori Marrs and Michelle Hollinger presented the Patricia Gotti Award to Marian Long, an 86-year-old former Imperial teacher whose contribution and commitment to the community since 1968 has impacted the city’s students and families.

“I’ve taught for about 46 years and I’ve been involved in different activities along with the Chamber of Commerce,” said Long. “I’m very pleased with this honor. I always try my best to be a cheerleader for Imperial all my life. I want to get Imperial beautified, because it’s a beautiful town and we want to look good.”

With a standing ovation, Long received the award and sang a tune about her lifelong love and services to Imperial, as well as her original ballad, “Christmas in a Small Town,” that she sings every year at Imperial’s annual event.

The evening continued with welcoming the incoming chamber board members and honoring the outgoing board of directors. Galvan thanked the outgoing members for their hard work and time to the team and made a pledge of commitment with the new board members.

“We, as members of the Chamber of Commerce, want to thank the city of Imperial and community for their support and that we couldn’t go on without them,” said Galvan.

Following warm applause, the guests enjoyed dinner, and danced to the rhythmic music as well as participated in raffles for several prizes.